Yesterday, my cousin called me to let me know that my aunt had passed away early the morning of 2 April 2010. My heart shattered into a million pieces. With all the pain I was feeling at that moment, my thoughts turned to him, his brother and sister and my uncle. Although my loss was unbearable, I knew their pain was as well. I may have lost my aunt but my cousins lost their mother and my uncle lost his sister. I could honestly say I knew the pain and loss they were all feeling for I had lost my mother and my sister.
In all my naivety, I never thought I would lose someone I loved. Over the years, I've lost so many people that I've known and loved and the pain never lessens. Losing my mother at 17, I felt my world was falling apart. At 24, my father passed away and I felt the world was ending. In 2009, I lost my only sibling, my sister, and I felt another chunk of my world had slipped away which has brought me to the realization, if my husband passes away before I do, I know that my world will cease to exist.
Although grieving through the deaths of my mother, father and sister, I have always taken the time to sit and think about what they meant to me, how they changed my life along with the lives they had touched. So many of my family and friends, before death, told me that they would not be missed and that they had not really accomplished anything or made a difference in life. I find this so untrue. People touch others lives in so many different ways without knowing it. This was true of my Aunt. She touched my life in more ways than I can count.
I admired this woman. She was a wonderful aunt, sister, mother, grandmother and daughter. She achieved so much in her life. She was an RN and she raised 3 wonderful children and taught them to have morals and to care deeply about those in their lives. To this day, my cousins, are selfless and show compassion. She worried about them as children and it continued as they became adults. There wasn't anything she wouldn't do for her children or those she loved. Material things are nice remembrances but I will always have something far better than material things, I had her unconditional love.
As I think of my aunt now, I think back to all the good times. Why the good times, you say? Good times because there wasn't any bad times. She was a lady of compassion that watched out after her sister, brother, nieces and friends and did for them what she could with what she had. Although she never knew, that I know of, she was a person I looked up to with great pride. She was beautiful inside and out, smart and wise far beyond her years.
Living several hundred miles apart, my husband and I visited her last year and the two years before. We took our vacation and spent a week each of those three years. She had been diagnosed with lung cancer and wasn't feeling the best but she allowed us to stay at her home. I will cherish that time with her and won't forget the special loving person she was.
She touched my life and for that I am so very grateful. I would not change the time that I spent with her other than to spend more of it with her. Although we lived many miles apart, she was always in my heart, thoughts, prayers and only a phone call away. Now I must say goodbye to her. I know her loss is felt by many and I know that I feel I shall never be the same without this wonderful woman to spend time with.
Goodbye my dear Aunt! You were my inspiration and you were loved by many and this niece misses you with a heart that is breaking. I love you, always.
©Karen A J Rinehart
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