9.18.2013

Love and Loss

I have never been to a funeral.  No one that I am really close to has ever passed away.

My parents moved to Southern California before I was even born and most of my extended family is in Michigan with some in Northern California.  I have cousins, aunts and uncles that I don't know very well.  Growing up, there were Summers that we piled into the car and made the cross country journey to Michigan or the 9 hour drive to San Jose but it wasn't enough to really know them.  It bothers me that I don't and I want to connect but I feel like I don't know where to start.  I met 3 out of my 4 grandparents.  My grandmother on my dad's side is still alive but the others have passed away.  I never really understood the specialness of the grandchild and grandparent relationship until my nephew DJ was born since I had never experienced it myself.  My parents are so in love with that child.  As am I.  Children are so loved.  I imagine that my grandparents love(d) me that way too but not being close to them I never really understood that until now.  DJ will know his grandparents and his aunts in a way that I never did.  They live in North Carolina but we had him here for the first three years of his life and it's important to all of us that he doesn't forget who we are.

Its an odd feeling when someone in your family passes away and you don't feel sadness about it in the way that you think you should.  It kind of makes me feel like a bad person but I know that it's just because I didn't know them.  Yes, I'm sad but not in the way that I would be had I truly known them as a person and had the opportunity to grow close to them.  In a way, I have been spared the pain of loss simply by not knowing my extended family.  While I may be somewhat shielded I don't know how lucky that is because I really would have liked to have known them better.

My aunt passed away on Saturday after 6 years of battling cancer.  I haven't been to Michigan in over 10 years and I can't even remember the last time I saw her.  I am saddened by this and my heart aches for my mother who is losing a sister.  I love my sister's so much.  I can't even imagine how awful that feels.  She is also a mother, a wife and a grandmother.  There are so many who are deeply affected by her passing.  It's this gigantic ripple effect and every ripple is a layer of love and a deeply painful loss.  I don't ever want to know that sickening heart wrenching feeling of loss but I know it's not a choice I get to make.  There will come a day that I will become painfully acquainted with it.

With the passing of my aunt and that terrible shooting; death has been on my mind.  I know, it's so morbid.  But sometimes your mind goes to dark places whether you want it to or not.  I watched Safe Haven on Sunday.  It's about a man who loses his wife to cancer and is now raising their two children on his own.  Boy meets girl, they fall in love and the story unfolds.  The end of the movie left me a sobbing mournful mess alone on my couch.  I can be emotional so this is not unusual for me.  I've cried watching a cotton commercial. I cried as if my heart was breaking just imagining the loss of this fictional characters wife.  Then the anger hit.  I know it's just a movie, but then I thought of my aunt Martha again and anyone else that has lost loved ones.  I too will experience it at some point before I eventually expire myself and somehow it all just seems so cruel and unfair.  I literally asked out loud as if someone would answer; Why do people have to die? It's such a childish question and I am old enough to know the answer.  It's the circle of life.  We can't live forever. 

Sometimes I let my mind wander a little bit too much and I think of how I can possibly endure loosing the people in my life that I love the most.  My eyes tear up, I get this terrible lump in my throat and then I have to push it aside because we can't live our lives fearing what has not yet happened even if it is something as inevitable as death.  I don't spend a lot of time thinking about it.  Nobody should.  It's too depressing and we have to live for the here and now.  But whenever it does sneak into my thoughts it's a reminder of just how important it is to make the most of precious time with friends and family.  Nobody is promised tomorrow.

11 comments :

Jacqueline Hough said...

Death is not easy. But you are so right. It is important to make the most of precious time with your friends and family. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. We should enjoy and make memories with them. I am so sorry for your aunt's death. I will keep you and family in my prayers.

Nylse said...

Your mind goes places where you don't want it to go - so true. Sometimes I blog about where my mind goes...
Anyhow, I'm sure it would mean alot to the living if you were to go to your aunt's funeral. I'm at the stage of life where funerals have become quite similar to family reunions.

Kalyn V said...

I too have been thinkig about death more than usual lately. Last week marked the two-year aniversary of my Grandma's death. She and I were extremely close, me being her first grandchild. I find myself constantly asking "Why?" and never really getting an answer. The silver lining here is that not only you, but your whole family is going through this and everyone is there to comfort each other and you can find peace knowing that everyone is suffering and you aren't the only one. If that makes sense.

Catherine Gacad said...

i am so sorry for your loss, cece.

Mrs. K said...

I'm sorry for your loss, although you weren't very close to your aunt. I pray that your family will be comforted through this tough time. I love that your blog gets to the heart of difficult topics. I love that it's not superficial so I keep coming back to read more :)

Faith said...

Seriously from top to bottom I could have written this post. I completely relate to this post so much. It's hard not to go that depressing route sometimes but it can't always be helped. Sometimes you need to be reminded that you aren't promised tomorrow that way you can do things differently today.

Lisa @ Two Martinis said...

I'm so sorry for your loss! Sometimes I find myself thinking a little too much about death and then I realize it's far more productive to think about LIFE, which definitely isn't a guarantee day to day.

Pegster said...

So sorry for your loss.

Mrs. Pancakes said...

Death is never a fun experience if you are expecting for the first time or multiple
Times. It's one of those things that passes through your mind constantly once it happens. I'm comforted that God is on the other side to receive us...so sorry about your aunt!

afairlie said...

So sorry for your loss, Cece!

Janna Renee said...

I'm so sorry that you have to go through this girl! My prayers are with you and your family. May your Aunt rest in peace <3 {{HUGS}}

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