In the past couple weeks I have found myself in a situation that has become all too familiar in the past year…celebrating the life of an aunt while also mourning her untimely passing.
The changes that have occurred in my family since September of last year are nothing less than life altering. Ours was (and still is) a close knit family. All of us (aunts/uncles/cousins) living within 30 miles of each other, celebrating monthly birthdays, every holiday, and being annoyingly aware of the goings on in everyone’s life. Having lost the patriarch of this clan in September, an aunt in October, and now a second aunt has been a harsh reality check that life is all too fragile.
Believing, as I do, that families are eternal and I will see them again brings me peace but doesn’t cure the dull ache of missing them in this life. It is this dull ache that I dread at family gatherings. It is this dull ache that I wish I could carry the burden of for my cousins who are now missing their mothers. It is this dull ache that reminds me to treasure each day with the people I love.
My sweet aunt was not famous. She faced trials in her life, as we all do. She was beautiful, strong, hard working, and had a spirit of perseverance. Truly this legacy will leave a lasting impact on us all as will the memories we carry with us.
While I’ve been able to share some of my thoughts sometimes it is nice to rely on others to provide you with the words to express your heartfelt emotions. The following poem from Helen Steiner Rice captures mine well…
There is no night without a dawning
No winter without a spring
And beyond the dark horizon
Our hearts will once more sing…
For those who leave us for a while
Have only gone away
Out of a restless, care worn world
Into a brighter day.
Until we meet again, dear aunt. All my love.