I have a pretty healthy family. A small, but healthy bunch. We have had a few run-ins with some major diseases, but we have mostly always recovered. We have slow metabolisms, but we work on keeping our calorie counts low, our exercise levels high. Sometimes we let ourselves gain a few pounds here and there. Sometimes we struggle and sometimes we don’t know how to ask for help. Sometimes we deal with things that even we don’t know we’re dealing with. Sometimes we make it through. Sometimes we don’t.
I never know how to handle my emotions. I usually keep them inside. I don’t want to burden those who love me and I don’t want to dwell on negative energy. I feel differently this time. I feel like it’s important to pay attention and embrace these feelings of loss and anger and frustration and sadness.
I am writing to say goodbye to aunt Laurie. I think you knew how happy you made us with your positive spirit and warm smile. I think you knew how much we respected you for dealing with and taking care of our grandmother, your mother. Even when you got frustrated with her, you didn’t let us kids see it. In fact, the only time we ever saw you upset was when we were very young and even then, we heard you raise your voice but didn’t actually see your frustration. You never seemed unhappy with what you had, even when it wasn’t much. The little joys that made you happy made us happy, and we knew that you embodied the hopeful positivity we always wished we could. You were gracious, kind, thoughtful, and most importantly, you made us know that we were loved by you. Did you know how much we loved you?
I am writing to say thank you. I never once questioned your intention, and I always knew that I could count on you. You didn’t have your own kids, but you had all of the cousins as surrogate children, all of us loved you without boundaries. Thank you for showing us that trust and support.
We know we didn’t spend enough time with you. There’s never enough time. But all the time we did spend was good. We never resented you or felt like you weren’t appreciative of every moment. That’s a rare and beautiful quality. We strive to embody your spirit.
Your heart was strong, even in the end. I know you would have kept fighting if you could, and I know you’re with grandma and Jessie now and are smiling, as always. I’m so glad you didn’t suffer too much, and I know that you would want us to know that you’re okay now. Our memories will always be the best.
I miss you and I love you, Laurie. When we celebrate, we will be celebrating you.
See you in the next life.