Once again, for Aunt S----  

PillsburyCodeBoy 60M
479 posts
7/26/2005 6:26 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Once again, for Aunt S----

A few days after I started this blog, I wrote about my favorite aunt. Last week was the seventh anniversary of her death. I got caught up with problems in my own life, and I forgot. Her memory deserves better.

When I first wrote about her, I underplayed the influence she had on my life. She was more than my aunt. She was my best friend. I miss her every day.

She was beautiful. She was more than that. She was something no one in my family has been before or since: she was glamorous. She could take the lowliest prĂȘt-a-porter and make it look like haute couture.

When I was about ten years old, she and her boyfriend took me for a ride in a convertible. No amusement park ride ever invented was as much fun. We were the three most alive people who ever rode in a car together. To this day, I have a thing for convertibles.

She went to see Ray Charles in concert in Memphis at a time when white Southerners didn’t go see acts like Ray Charles in concert.

She was one of the few people who could ever tell me what to do and make me feel like no one was telling me what to do. I’ve since learned what an extremely rare talent that is.

For the last eight years of her life, she was the primary caregiver for my grandmother, who had a variety of health problems. Less than six months after my grandmother died, my aunt died. There was never any medical reason given for her death beyond “massive heart failure.” She had visibly aged, but she had not been sick. Everyone still thinks she just wore herself out caring for my grandmother. Since then, I’ve had a special place in my heart for the people, especially women, who are the caregivers in their families. I worry about them not taking enough time to take care of themselves.

I’ve never been a spiritual person. But when she died, I became less so. Hers was one of those deaths that make some of us shake our fists at the sky and shout, “That’s not fair!”

If I could change one thing about my life, it’s this: I take the loss of friends and loved ones very hard. That would surprise the people who see me at funerals, where I come across as Mr. Spock, all logic and no emotion. They don’t know. Right beneath the surface, I’m just the opposite.

I want to think of my aunt and remember the fun times, the laughter, the convertible rides. But I don’t, at least never for long. I always end up overwhelmed with sadness for what all of us lost.

They say time helps. Maybe so. It’s been seven years. I’m still waiting.

rm_pootle47 58F

7/26/2005 3:17 pm

The fact that life got in the way and you actually forgot to mark the day of her death is a good sign that you're on the way to getting past the weight of the loss to being able to remember her happily. The day of her death was significant only for being her last day. Soon you'll be able to celebrate the thousands of other days she lived through.

She sounds like an amazing woman, never quite gone while you recall her so vividly.

rm_beaujelais 59F

7/27/2005 6:43 am

Close your eyes and sit very still, PCB. You might just feel her slip her arm around your shoulders. My favorite aunt does that when I sit still. It's overwhelming, but you know she is not far away from you.

Kind of like really good friends ...

PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

7/27/2005 6:45 am

Thank you, pootle. I hadn't really thought of it that way. I guess that was what I needed to hear.

PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

7/27/2005 8:43 am

Thank you, beaujelais. I really needed to hear that, too.

bemusedgoddess 52M/48F  
71 posts
7/28/2005 8:56 am

Hey Pillsbury,
Loss is difficult and no one really knows if we will ever really have peace about certain loved ones passing. I am still suffering to this day about losing my favorite cat. I had to put to her to sleep due to an incurable and painful liver disease that snuck up without a warning.
I was just visiting my Grandfather the other day it has been 3 years since my Grandmother has passed. But it still seems as though she could walk into the room at any minute. And she too was Glamorous like your Aunt. She wasn't a 'rocking chair' variety by any means...She lit up a room and caused people to really converse and reconsider any opinions they may have about...anything. She was an amazing woman and a thorn in my side many times, with her personal expectations for me.
I don't know how we love and live through loss...
But we do...
Hugs always,

PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

7/28/2005 1:08 pm

Thank you, bemused. I'm sorry for your losses as well.

The more I think of my aunt, the more I know she would not want me to be so sad at her being gone. In fact, she'd be mad at me for taking things as hard as I do. I need to try and remember how she would want me to remember her and work harder at remembering her that way.

Late last night I remembered that her boyfriend, the one we rode in the convertible with, died last year. Even though she was happily married to my uncle for many years, I'd like to think the two of them are somewhere laughing together and catching up on things. Maybe even checking out the new convertibles.

duststormdiva 51F
6854 posts
8/1/2005 6:14 pm

PillsburyCodeBoy, I am sorry for your loss. I feel the pain you do. I agree with pootle47 and think that you forgetting the date of her death shows that the healing process is moving along just fine.

Yes, she would want you to be happy, and to celebrate her life instead being sad because of her death. She was a great woman to take care of your ailing Grandmother. I know how hard it is to care for someone you love unconditionally and watch them slowly deteriorate.

We didn't have a funeral for my father, we had a Celebration of Life. It was nice, many people were there. Few tears were shed and I know that is what my father would have wanted.

Hang in there, love, I'll be here if you need me to be.


PillsburyCodeBoy 60M

8/2/2005 2:54 pm

Thank you, duststormdiva. I've been keeping up with your blog and the events in your life of the last week. I'll be here for you as well, if you need me.

I like the whole "celebration of life" idea and wish more people would consider that when the time comes, both for themselves and their loved ones. It would be so much easier on the ones left behind. One day soon I plan to speak with my family about the day--a long, long time from now, if I can help it--when I die, and I'll emphasize that I want it to be something like what you did for your father.

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