On a day when I find out that I’ve made a career-limiting (if not career-ending) mistake at work, I find out that my aunt M is gone.
We grew up together, our family and theirs, their boys and us girls.
When her husband, my uncle, died… well it’s been a decade and more, and there still aren’t words. At a service in which most were almost miraculously (and/or medicinally) composed — stiff-upper-lipping their momentous grief — my sister and I wept inconsolably as if we’d been hired to be wailing women.
He was a second father to us.
She was a second mother.
My aunt was always a woman of kindness and grace, a woman of strength and courage. She had an open and generous heart. She touched and will be missed so deeply both by family, and by the community.
I have faith that she is in His care. I can smile to imagine her joyous home-coming. I imagine her seeing my uncle again, both of them whole and complete – in a way beyond anything of this world – in the light of His glory. Reunited with her parents, and his, and with others that have gone before.
I think of her There, and I think of all the people who I miss who will be there too.
COVID is a complication of course. Less than it was a few months ago, granted… When extended family passed last year, we wanted to pay our respects but could not, in light of the state of things, of lockdowns or restriction guidance, feel it was wise to go. Not just for our own safety… but because gatherings as vectors were to be avoided for the good of other attendees and the community.
It was hard. I still feel that.
Now… we are waiting for updates on the arrangements but… well, there are still travel restrictions to their state. Negative test or full vaccination, or 10 days of quarantine on arrival, unless we’ll be there for less than 24 hours.
That’s a small window and a lot of people to potentially expose, if one is not protected and/or confirmed negative first.
I can’t imagine not being there.
And I can’t imagine going either… can’t imagine even remotely being able to hold myself together.
I guess I better sort this work situation, and see if there’s any gas to be had in the area.
Because there may be a long drive in my future.