Requiem for an Aunt

It’s interesting how Facebook can impact how we live our lives… Here’s an example: about three weeks ago – it’s bizarre to say it that way since it’s  so recent but similarly so long ago – I lost an aunt.

It’s not that we were close. In fact, the last time I think I saw her was 2005 for sure, maybe one more time since, but she’s family. And the loss of a family member – one that had actually had a presence in your life – tends to make you reflect on things. Maybe it’s just me. (Side note: I had an uncle that died within a few years of my dad – a slight blip, since he was an uncle, but before seeing him in 1997, just before my dad died, the last time I had seen him was the mid-1980s, but no deep reflection on the loss.)

So, her death was sudden – we still had the Christmas card she had signed a few weeks before hanging from the mantle.

And I heard the news from a cousin making a post on Facebook. I then contacted the other cousin for verification, then contacted the rest of my corner of the family.

A brief explanation. My paternal grandmother had four children – all boys. Each of the boys married, and each had two children – one boy and one girl. Now, due to various reasons, we are all in different geographical locations and don’t hear from each other vary often. At one time, though, three of the four boys all lived in the same area: Woodbridge-Dale City, Virginia. Circa early 1980’s. This is the time that came to mind when I heard of her passing – of photos from birthday parties, and spending nights at my cousin’s house. The tome and pitch of her voice when she would call my cousin’s name.

Or the time, in the early 90’s, when I went back with another cousin and my grandmother, and the three of us boys were up well before dawn and helping the resident cousin with his pre-ass-crack-of-dawn paper route while she drove us around.

Those moments and more all came rushing back, all thanks to a post on Facebook. And the world got a little bit darker that day.

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