as i watched in sorrow, there suddenly appeared a figure gray & ghostly beneath a flowing beard

My aunt died this afternoon.  Her name was Carol and she was my father’s sister.  She had diabetes and just like their mother, she died of complications from it.  Working at an orthotics & prosthetics practice, I work with a lot of Type II Diabetic patients so I did know what to “expect.”  Still, I am in shock.  You hear of bad things happening & you never think it can happen to you.  It can.

I am going home to Long Island very late tomorrow night and I’ll be there through the funeral on Wednesday morning.  My little cousin James (my dad’s brother’s son) is making his First Holy Communion on Sunday and I am happy that he won’t have to remember that day with the day that…yeah.  I want to go home to be with my family for that and for the wakes/funeral so that’s what I am going to do.  It’s been a very, very difficult 10 days.  Since May 5, everything that could be bad has been bad and been expensive and been incredibly stressful.  But that is life.  I have been to a lot of wakes and funerals since late November 1994 when my great-grandmother passed away.  I’ve mourned family members and more friends than I feel I should have at this age.  I can think of at least 6 people who should be my age right now.  I think I have adapted an attitude about it, but who knows?  It is devastating and it is heartbreaking but life goes on.  You add them to your prayers and you believe that you will see them again someday and you scream inside “WHY?!” and you hope that they can hear you protest the injustice of them no longer being here but you have to accept that it is what it is for this lifetime.  After all, this is real life and…it’s final if you believe it is and it’s ‘only goodbye for a little while’ if you believe that.

According to what my cousin told my parents: My aunt had some visitors over this afternoon from their church.  My uncle is a Catholic Deacon.  She kept motioning towards the ceiling during the visit, but no one really thought very much of it because she hadn’t been able to communicate easily since she went into the hospice (I cryptically referred to a potential hospice stay during my Macbook update blog post).  My uncle went to walk the church people out and when he returned, he saw that she “had returned home.”

I hope she has and I hope she is reunited with the grandmother I never got to meet, the grandmother whom she always spoke so highly of.

Rest in Peace, Aunt Carol.  I love you and I’ll miss you and I’ll be wearing the pearls you gave me for my birthday in your honor whenever I can.

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