I sobbed on my husband’s shoulder begging for relief…
when. when will we catch a break? it all has to stop. it just has to stop. now. i can’t take this any more. it’s not fair. when will it stop?
It may have been one of my worst moments dealing with the news that one of my most beloved Aunts has been moved to hospice and it’s only a matter of time.
I got the kids to school and went immediately to see my doctor and was told I am not healthy enough to travel. So when the time comes, I can’t be there. I can’t be with my family who needs me and I can’t say good bye. I can’t read at her funeral like she read at my wedding and I am so very tired of all the ‘can’ts’ in my life.
I have spent 48 hours keeping myself in check while the kids are looking, so I don’t scare them anymore with my tears. I have told them and my husband and my brother and my cousins just how much I love them over and over because I am so very tired of losing people that mean so very much and I refuse the miss out on letting those I love KNOW that I love them.
I have thought about how to best pay my respects to my Aunt who did nothing but give herself, her life, to everyone else. She was there for me always. She was my sponsor for my confirmation. She never missed a birthday or a holiday or any of my surgeries with a card or a pair of pjs or even some flowers. We had this love of sunflowers together. And we’d send them to each other whenever we could.
When the time comes I am in charge of making sure there are sunflowers at her funeral. From me. It’s a task I dread and yet will do with love. For her. Because it’s all I can do.
My kids didn’t get nearly enough time with her. They knew she always sent ornaments at Christmas and gifts for their birthdays. They remember the summer in Michigan fishing off the docks. They know her from our wedding photos, and how she was so nervous reading Elizabeth Barrett Browning for me. But she did it, for me.
My other Aunt held the cell phone to her ear for me the other night and I rambled off as much as I could when you only have a few moments to say everything you’d like to say over a lifetime. I told her I loved her. But I also begged her to fight. And then I eventually told her I would see her soon.
I couldn’t bring myself to say goodbye.
For as long as I can remember she was one of the remaining relatives who went to Mass every Sunday. So I did the only thing I knew to do and packed up the kids and headed to our local church to light a candle for her. And the doors were locked. The church doors were locked.
I was so angry the doors of a church were locked when I needed to light that candle. I had to light that candle. Didn’t they know my Aunt was dying? Didn’t they understand that lighting a candle was all I could do? Who locks church doors? Shouldn’t they be open so people can pray whenever they need to pray? Or light a candle to Mary or any other Saint they choose?
I can’t believe that not only am I unable to get on a plane to be with my family in Detroit, but I can’t even manage to light a candle. Failure thy name is Erin.
Just this once, I am asking the universe for a break. Let her pass without suffering. Let her be at peace. And please let my family be comforted. She was a selfless woman, who deserves that much. And my family has been through enough.
I love you Aunt Georgiann.