I watched my Aunt die today. It was not what I expected. No “moment” just a sort of slow fading away without any real punctuation at the end. Her heart “fibulated”. It murmured. It sputtered. And there was no clear moment. Nothing like in the movies when the EKG flatlines and you hear a long steady beeeeeeeeeeeeep. Just a lingering wondering, “Is that it? Is she gone? How about now?”
For my cousin, it was a long slow process. A strained relationship fraught with layers of pain and disappointment. The child becomes the parent. The gift of closure. Life continues.
For my Aunt, it seems to me, it was a life of disappointment, bitterness, anger and self hatred. And yet, in all her disagreableness, there was something adorable about her. Maybe her tiny size, her huge blue eyes, her raspy truck driver voice with that thick Parisian accent. I think her last meal was a cup of coffee and a slice of cheesecake. Sugar and caffeine. We must be related, even if not by blood.
For me, it makes me wonder. About it all. We come, we go and inbetween we do all sorts of things. We think we have control, make a difference, but do we really? After she passed, and enough time was spent by her bedside, we went for a bite to eat. We were starving afterall. It had been hours since we ate. We went around the corner to Tender Greens and had a healthy, life affirming meal. We had just witnessed a soul, a lifetime passing away and after a few moments, before we realized it was happening, life went on. As it does. Ever moving forward. With or without us.
Sonya Gorelic Carson
1932 – 2011