If you’re lucky you’re born into a good family. I was but I was also welcomed into several wonderful other families too including The Cunningham/Smith/Thomas family, The Elliott/Brock family, and the Murphy/Santo family, The Lopez/Keim family, and The VanSchaick family. All of these people have made me feel loved and supported at various points in my life. So, when a member of any of these families is lost, I feel that too.
Recently, I learned that a woman who was affectionately known as “auntie Barbara” passed away. I wasn’t related to her by blood but that didn’t seem to matter to her.
I had five aunts when I came into the world. One, my aunt Lillian” died when I was in high school. Losing her and my grandaunt Evelyn, “Johnny,” was the subject of my college entrance essay. It was about perceiving despite grief to make your ancestors proud. This is a lesson I’d learn over and over again in my life. Three of my final four aunts died in the last two years, as well as my mom. Now, it was auntie Barbara’s turn, my adopted sixth aunt; the cool aunt who went to Medieval Times, Atlantic City, Target and other places with me, my former roommate Diane, her niece and nephew throughout our 20’s and early 30’s. She’d even talk to us and hang out with us in her home when she wasn’t well.
As I get older, I’m coming to terms with the fact that all of my early supporters will leave me sooner than I’d hope. I carry with me the memories we made together and I’ll continue to try to make them proud by touching others as they did.
#grief #death #loss #aunts #MakeYourOwnFamily #AdoptedFamily