Here I go...

Finding magic under the stars of the Camino Santiago de Compostela

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Another Death

I'll tell you, it's been a heck of a year.
This will be remembered as
"The Year People Died."

I just got word that my cousin died.

To add insult to injury,
his 96 year old mother is in a nursing home,
and my cousin's wife has decided not to tell her until
AFTER he's cremated.

This is cruel to me.
I have three sons.
I can't imagine people not telling me
if one of them died.
In our family,
a mother has the RIGHT
to say goodbye to her dead son.

My Aunt Vena lost her youngest son
a few years ago.
It was very hard on her.
Now her eldest has died.
Her last son.
And even if it kills her,
she has the RIGHT to know
and to see him.

Bad enough, they're cremating him
and not having a funeral.
Funerals are, after all,
for the living, not the dead.

But to keep his mother from saying goodbye.

When I say she's 96,
don't get the wrong idea.
My last aunt lived until she was 105.
Aunt Vena could have another 10 years.
People in my family live long lives.
My last grandmother just died in the past two years.

My aunt Vena is sharp as a tack.
She's not in the nursing home because of mental disability.
She's in there because she can't walk.
There's nothing wrong with her mind
that you wouldn't expect from a 96 year old.

Yes, she sometimes repeats the same stories,
and on occasion she dreams she's talking to her dead sister.
But she knows me each time I visit,
and she's very "with it."
She remembers names and dates and events
that I've long forgotten.

I think this is the most horrendous decision
I can imagine.
I'm just sick about it.

I may be out of email reach for a week or so
while I go to California
to pay my respects.

I ask those of you who pray
to pray for my aunt,
and to pray for the daughter-in-law
to make the right decision
before it's too late.


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