Thursday, August 12, 2010


Jess' Aunt Diana (and his father's only sibling) passed away this past Saturday. She'd been battling a pretty brutal war with cancer for about four years (after given a three month prognosis), so it wasn't entirely unexpected, but it has still blown through her family like a severe windstorm, sucking the air around them. I watched her husband, numb with grief and pain, as he went through the motions. I knew that as soon as he had the chance, the tears would come. His grief was tangible. Her children - the youngest in college - were stoic. They were brave for her; their tributes to her made me cry. Her parents, my sweet Grammy (Annabelle's namesake) and Poppy - when you're in your eighties, you don't expect to bury your child. Their customarily strong but aged frames were frail and tender and bent over with sadness, their eyes rimmed red. And her brother, my dear father-in-law, who was out of the country when she suddenly took a turn for the worse, and who returned only a day after she was gone, sometimes I can't even look at him. Because although he is pushing through and he is incredibly strong, his eyes hold a world of sadness in them.

I didn't know her very well, but what I did know of her made me want to know her more. She was accomplished, intelligent, and an amazing mother. She scheduled her chemotherapy appointments around my bridal and baby showers. She had a particular love of my sweet Belle as she was D. Charlene (her mother G. Charlene, and Belle A. Charlene). She always looked immaculate, makeup perfect, eyelashes in place. For the few years I knew her, I admired her and her strength, her ability to push through pain and continue living with her whole heart.

It's strange that she's gone. It's strange that one day we can be here, the next, gone. I ache for her husband and her children. When I slide their figurative shoes on, I break down in a heap of sobs. My knowledge and firm belief in our eternal nature softens these thoughts, but the mortal part of me feels the sting of death around her passing. And when I put myself in her shoes, when I imagine leaving my husband, that man who despite his inability to take the trash out, is my match and my very best friend; when I imagine leaving behind my sweet Belle, the girl that consumes my world and whose language mommy understands best....Oh. My heart. And I have to stop thinking then.

Diana's passing marks a poignant reminder in my life. A reminder of the deep love I have for those who share my blood and whose blood I've married into. She is the reminder that sometimes life is hard, that it doesn't make sense, but that it is worth it. And most of all, her life is a reminder that forever is our saving grace and the reason for this short mortal sojourn.

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