This morning, my aunt will be laid to rest in a cemetery plot which already holds her husband and her only son.
My aunt is the last of my mother's generation in my family and a second mother to me. In fact, my parents had designated my aunt as my guardian in the event that both my parents died while I was still a child.
The memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 4.
My grief and sorrow are palpable.
I'm trying to focus on all the happy memories my aunt and I made together. And, as I look around this old house, where my aunt lived for some twenty years (1947-1967), every room holds a reminder of her. She gave me so many gifts as, over the years, she showed much generosity upon me and, later in her life, gradually divested herself of her personal treasures. Our final visit together, although a time of sadness, is also a good memory: we shared thinking back on good times together. As she lay in a hospital bed in her living room, I held her hand, laid my head on her chest, and told her, "I love you. What will I do without you?"
I have volunteered to read one of Tennyson's most famous poems at my aunt's memorial service:
Crossing the BarI'll be reading the poem from a poetry book my aunt gave me some four decades ago. Early on, she cultivated in me a love of poetry.
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea.
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home!
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For though from out our bourn of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crost the bar.
In observance of my dearest aunt's passing, I will not be putting up new posts through the date of the memorial service, Saturday, December 4.