I always thought that I was good at loss.
I had the ability to move on. I thought.
Until this past year. Until therapy helped me see that all I was doing was ignoring the loss. I wasn’t grieving, I was ignoring.
This week, I experienced loss in a whole new way.
(I know that everyone deals with loss in their own way. This blog will include the death of someone I love. If that is triggering to you, stop reading. Also, I am so sorry that you are dealing with a loss if this is triggering. Sending a big virtual hug!)
My great Aunt passed away last weekend.
She was someone that I didn’t spend a whole lot of time with, but she was a person that I remembered fondly, and I came to realize this week, she always felt a little like a grandmother to me. She was my grandmother’s sister and funny how the brain works, I remember spending more time with her that I do with my own grandmother. She lived in Kansas, and we would drive out to visit when I was young. I remember playing on the floor of her house out on the farm when we would visit. I remember her taking us on an outing, and buying us little gifts. I remember her coming to stay with us in Colorado while my parents were away and going on walks while she was here.
As I got to be an adult, I remember visiting and having great conversation. She was down to earth and made me laugh. She had done a bunch of research into the family history and had all kinds of pictures and stories, and I loved hearing all about them.
Even the last time that I saw her, she spent time introducing me to her friends at her assisted living facility. We had a good lunch and good conversation.
She was 93 and lived a good life. I will miss her even though we didn’t spend a lot of time together.
This is where I become a selfish person.
I really wanted to go to the funeral. I kinda need funerals or memorials in my life to help me say goodbye. To help me get my closure. But, there wasn’t going to be a funeral. My Aunt planned out most of it, and all she wanted was a short graveside service. And it just didn’t make sense for me to travel the distance for a short service, especially in the winter. And this ate me up for a good portion of the week.
And then my really caring co-workers reminded me that I didn’t need to go to a funeral to remember her or to say goodbye. And I reminded myself that funerals are really there for those left behind to help us grieve.
So, I had my own little memorial, and I let myself grieve this week. I cried and said goodbye and remembered all the good things. I let the loss become very real. And now, I am writing this blog as my final piece of closure.
I know that as I get older, I will deal with loss more often. The people in my life are getting older, and some of the people I like the most are “elderly”. So, there is always an underlying feeling in my heart that I should spend more time with them because time is short.
I also know that this is how life works. We lose people along the way. It has been happening all of my life and isn’t going to stop. All I can hope for is that I maximize the time I have while people are here and grieve when they are gone.
So, today I am sending big virtual hugs to everyone. I hope you feel the love that I have for you and the appreciation I have for you reading and commenting on this blog. It is a work in progress, but you stick around, and you don’t know how much that means to me!