Chapter Now: there isn't a word
Tonight I went to the visitation of a great woman, my Aunt Shirley. This blog isn't as much about the amazing life she lived but man she was amazing -- instead this is more about the way tonight was, the cloud of grief, the melting away of an era, the uneasy emotions, the missing light that filled my family's eyes.
Death brings out weird emotions and reactions in people. For some of my family, crying is the necessary routine, others cling to telling stories, some cannot cope with it and don't even show up, and then there's my grandma with bloodshot eyes (from crying so much the past few days) but exuding a strength and calm for all in the room.
One look into her eyes shows her abundant sadness yet she stands tall as a pillar of strength and positivity for everyone else and no one seems to see her own emotions behind her smiling masked glow.
Or maybe they do.
As I grow older, I realize just how complex each member of my family truly is. They all approach life and react to it so differently. I guess I'm no different in that. Tonight I felt as though I was just watching a bigger picture unravel before me. The picture of diverse emotions that somehow perfectly fit into an imperfect puzzle.
Each member (including myself) is full of beautiful quirks, inconsistencies, gifts, and imperfections but at the end of the day it fits perfectly.
On a board full of pictures my grandpa pointed out a picture of me and my aunt - centered among the others - centered in a sea of memories. Her son came up and said how special I was to her. She was special to me too. She always made me feel loved, she was spunky, she was simple, she loved her family, and she treated people with kindness. She made are lives better.
As I looked over at her laying peacefully, I really felt sick - she was not there. I never like the visitation parts of funerals because the body makes it beyond clear that the soul has left. I know some people need to see that to reach that sense of closure - I don't. I already knew she wasn't there - we will see her again. The real her.
I hope tomorrow we can celebrate her, and not mourn her. She will be missed, not forgotten. Our family will be okay - we always are. I'll be okay, I always am, someone has to be. My kids and husband are in bed so I'll go have my moment now, :-)
I love you all greatly.