Another beautiful life has gracefully passed on.
I learned of my aunt’s passing at lunch. I sat, after a long and busy morning, and checked my phone. There were a series of texts from a cousin, her daughter, and my uncle. At first I couldn’t decipher any meaning.
“I’m not going to be able to make it north for grandmother’s funeral.”
“We can plan on celebrating her life.”
“Other factors prevent me from attending the funeral.”
I was very confused but then the light beamed through. There was a tug on my heart. “But why,” thought I, “haven’t I heard yet?” No one had reached out to me but it seemed as if it was assumed I already knew. Then, once again, the light beamed through. I was in school. My mom would not have wanted to disturb me at school. She was waiting for the end of the day to call me.
“Mom, news about Arline? I’m seeing a lot of texts going back and forth.” I sent her a quick text. I needed her to know that it was ok, I already knew. I could just imagine her anguish at not being able to tell me yet.
My aunt was “that special aunt”. Twelve years my mom’s senior, she coached us and coaxed us as if we were all her children. She was that word of encouragement, that belief in all you set out to do, that motor of change that made things happen. She was our sage.
We had begun to lose her, little by little, several years ago. First, her health was an issue. Then, her husband, my uncle, passed away. Then my aunt’s core, her being, began to slip away.
Memory is who we are, it is our story, and Arline’s was failing.
She ended peacefully and with grace. The sense of her loss magnified by our tears. The memories of her grace reflected in our smiles.