We have just returned from a week in the UK attending two funerals, two ends of England, 24 hours apart.
One of those funerals was my aunt, aged about 92 and the last of my late father’s siblings. I am relieved she’s now no longer suffering and here I’ll explain why.
In 1960, she lost her mother, I think my aunt would have been around 40. In 1970 she lost her father, she aged 50. I am sure many find themselves in this situation as we grow older, and we expect that at some point in our lives to lose our parents, it’s normal.
In 1978, she lost her husband, in 1980 she lost a grandchild aged 6 months, in 1983 she lost her youngest son, aged approx 28. In 1997 she lost her 2nd oldest daughter to cancer, aged 48. In 1999 she lost her brother aged 80. In 2003 she lost her youngest daughter, aged 42 to cancer. In 2010 she lost her 2nd husband and her last remaining brother (my Dad) a year later in 2011.
That’s 10 close family deaths in 53 years, 3 of them her mature children. How does one survive that, what is life like after all that pain and suffering.
My cousin is the last of the 4 children, the last of my age group and has lost everything but her own children and grandchildren. I felt so sad for her at her mum’s funeral, and wondered how she has coped with losing so all of her family of origin. I wondered how she felt attending yet another family funeral and how of course she dreads each one. She has children and grandchildren but that doesn’t make up for the loss of her whole original family. I am very lucky, my first experience of death of a close family member was my dad’s death nearly 2 years ago. He was nearly 95, it was normal.
Whilst I was lamenting yesterday about our horrible journey home through appalling weather, my cousin was attending an interment of the ashes, alongside her father, brother, sister and grandchild.
If there was a god, and it was a god who punished, I would be wondering what the hell they had done to deserve such punishment. God or no god doesn’t explain why one family can suffer so much loss, heartbreak and grief.
So, RIP Aunty Dot, I am so pleased that you’re gone….and regret I cannot comfort myself in the knowledge that you have joined your loved ones.
I hate the effing asylum and will be keeping the gate shut for a few days whilst we recover.