I’m packing my stuff into a suitcase and wondering if it’s appropriate to wear a bright green scarf under my black jacket to a funeral.
I’m taking my mother to another state tomorrow so that she can say her goodbyes to her only sister, and I’m fussing about everything from clothes to underwear. I think it might be my way of coping with the situation – tragic, unexpected, and completely wrong. Wrong because my Auntie should be here with us, not ‘at peace’ or ‘at rest’ in a place where we can no longer see, hear or touch her ever again. We never even got the chance to say goodbye.
I feel an incredible amount of sadness for myself, but mostly for my mother. And I feel a little angry. Why is it that the good ones always go first, and all we are left with are memories, and no way ever tell them how much we love them and how much we are going to miss them? Why couldn’t the hospital try a little harder to save her? Why couldn’t she try a little harder to live, for her family and for my mother?
I know I’m being unfair. My auntie was unwell, and she was tired of fighting, as short as the fight had been. I know if she’d had the choice, she would be here with us still, because she loved her family, they were her number one – her reason for living.
Saying goodbye tomorrow isn’t going to be easy. It’s final and it’s forever. As much as I want to believe I am going to see her again, and we will all be reunited one day, the fact is that in my material, tangible world right now – she is gone.
And it’s pretty hard to take.