Monday, January 26, 2015

Death Is Never Easy

Pss. 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Death is never easy…

Death is never easy when it hits close to home. I mean, it’s hard any time when we see death surrounding us on the battlefield called earth. People dying everywhere your heart just aches.

Then someone like an online friend dies and though you never knew the person physically, you still feel like something is missing from your spirit. A part of your heart has a burn hole in it. Then a friend loses a mother or a father or sadly both parents the hole begins to grow. Online friends become your family over years and years of communication. They become a part of your everyday life, so to speak.

Now when a family member from your bloodline passes away, someone who you actually grew up with in your physical world, shared Christmas’ with and passed on the road from child to adult, the sting is even harder.

Yesterday, the 25th, my aunt passed away. She was a jolly soul, tall with graying hair, always a   bright smile and a laugh to share. A little on the heavy side but she never let that hinder her from having a good life, attending church or being a social butterfly always fluttering around from place to place.

I can’t remember exactly when they found a tumor but I know she wanted to have back surgery and it was discovered. They had to remove the tumor before cutting into her back. They discovered the tumor, removed and chemo-therapy ensued. They found another tumor and more chemo, another then the same thing over and over for the past year.

She began losing the weight as the cancer was eating her away. That did not stop her smiles. When she had the strength she’d continue doing what she did. Attended church, visited with her grandchildren, hugged her children, and enjoyed the community of Locust Point and what bit of vibrancy that was left in her.

I remember in my younger years she always called me Noni. She had told me of how when I was really little just learning to speak, I had called her Aunt Nerl, for Aunt Gerald, so she would jokingly hug me and say, “There’s Noni.” She was never short on hugs and every time she saw me she’d say, “There’s Noni.” And give me one of the hardiest of hugs.

I don’t think any of my other aunts loved me like she did. Living over a thousand miles away for the past twelve years hasn’t allowed me many visits back home, but the one time I did go back to see my mother in the hospital, Aunt Nerl showed up and there she said again, “There’s Noni!”

She always told me that I reminded her of her. Always laughing, always seemingly happy, making others laugh and just a personality that mirrored hers. That made me pretty proud because no offense to my other aunts, they were not as jovial as we were/are. Since my Aunt Gerald is my father’s sister, I could see where my DNA had coursed.

Yesterday was a tough day for my mother and father. My dad almost seemed irate when he learned that my brother had found out about my aunts death on the computer. They are not of the computer age and think this gadget is a turnstile from hell. He doesn’t understand that facebook is used as a source of comfort when we need to be consoled. My cousins announced their mothers’ death to seek comfort not to degrade her in any way and I tried to let my parents know that.

Thumbprints are left on the soul. We have people in our lives that leave lasting prints never to be washed away. Whether these people are online friends or physical beings in your life, a print is made and you cling to the person via the memories and stories left on your soul.

We all mourn differently. This past week as my mother kept telling me to pray for my aunt, I told her I was praying for her peace, not her miraculous healing. While I am notably an optimist and believe in miracles, I knew when I heard that my aunt had cancer of the blood, it would not be long before I heard of her death. The realist in me accepted this portion of the journey that we must all take.

Last Saturday my aunt was given forty-eight hours to live. It was a miracle that by Monday morning she had a chance to sit up, eat some jell-o and meet with her kids one last time. By Sunday the 25th, her needed organs ceased to function and she went on into eternal peace, just what I prayed for. Peace from the continued suffering. Peace to let go and meet the Lord head on. Peace to finally be free of these earthly restrictions.

Death is never easy for the living.

Pss. 61: 1-4  Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer.
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.
I will abide in thy tabernacle for ever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.


benning said...

"She always told me that I reminded her of her. Always laughing, always seemingly happy, making others laugh and just a personality that mirrored hers. That made me pretty proud because no offense to my other aunts, they were not as jovial as we were/are." - So remain happy! She's in the best place of all, with the best beings of all! She'll be waiting for you, and another hardy hug! :D

joni said...

THAT is my only comfort on this day.


Von Rupert said...

(((hugs))) Joni. My aunts were very important to me growing up, too. I loved your story of "Noni"--such a loving relationship. There are people in this world who can make us feel special just for being ourselves, and your aunt sounds like one of those people. Wishing you peace and comfort. ♥

joni said...

Thanks Von.

Today I'm sorting through memories and they're leading me to writing.
I guess it's my way of honoring my aunt for all that she meant to me.

I thank God everyday for gifting me with writing. :)

Janet said...

"Thumbprints are left on the soul."

I really like that. A part of your aunt will always be with you.

God bless. :)

joni said...

Thanks Janet.

It's me waxing poetic again. :)

NurseArtist said...

Joni, I am so sorry for your recent losses in your family, and I share a hug or two with you and all of our WVU family for our recent loss too. Death is only a temporary parting. We all shall be reunited some day in the future. I pray for peace and comfort and understanding for you until that day. God bless you.

joni said...

Thanks Dixie,

I think them being done with leaving more thumbprints on my soul is what I'll miss the most.

I have great memories though. :)