My aunt died last night. My dad's aunt, truly, but mine just the same. That may sound like a generational distance, something like a second cousin twice removed, but I assure you: she was my aunt, just the same.
She was diagnosed only two months ago, so the journey has been swift, brutal, and daily.
When I first learned that she was gone, I smiled. That was my first reaction. I pictured her reunion with her sister, the most inseparable friends you could possibly imagine. And that made every part of me smile.
And then I thought of her husband, so in love with her and waiting to see her.
And her dad.
And her mom.
And her nephew, my uncle.
And another grandmother of mine.
And then I thought of two of my children, who just met someone else who can tell them how desperately I loved and wanted them.
And the more I thought of those reunions, the less I smiled and the more I cried. Because although we do not grieve as those who have no hope, still we grieve. And though they are together, laughing and knowing and breathing and living, we are not with them.
It's an odd thing to feel happy and sad at the same time... but mostly, I feel sad.
She was a great, great lady. I miss her already.