Two weeks ago my Auntie Joan passed away. It was a peaceful passing for her and I am grateful for that. My aunt lived a full life and it was her time to move on. But we will miss her terribly.
My Auntie Joan was an amazing lady
- Great sense of humour
- Easy going
In fact my aunt was the kindest person I know. She spent her life helping others. When my mother first announced that she was pregnant with me Joan sprang into action. She helped my mom make maternity clothes and prepare the layette for my arrival.
In a very real sense my aunt loved me even before I was born.
She made me a special blanket and apparently I dragged that thing everywhere. I called it my wacky and as long as I had it my world was safe.
My aunt was really good at making people feel special. We didn’t see her very often, but every time we were together she made me feel as if I was her number one niece. She was good at loving her family.
In fact I never doubted her love for me and as a result I was always comfortable in her presence. Being on the receiving end of unconditional love is a powerful thing for a child.
I have thought a lot about my aunt these past two weeks and have come to two realizations
1. Tell your loved ones what they mean to you
How I wish I had told my aunt how much she meant to me while she was still living. I’m sure she knew. I hope she knew. Still I wish I had taken the time to actually tell her.
To say the words.
I have been reminded that people we love will not be with us forever.
Tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.
Drop them a note, or pick up the phone and give them a call. You will be glad you did.
2. Understand the importance of extended family
When I announced my aunt’s death, one of my friends said, “Aunts are so special.” I have come to realize how true that is.
If you are an aunt, uncle, great aunt/uncle, or a grandparent, please understand how special you are.
Never underestimate the power of your love and support in a child’s life.
The connections between parents and child are really important, but so are the connections between members of your extended family. Don’t forget to nurture those relationships too.
My family will be gathering on Thursday to celebrate the life of my Auntie Joan. I wish I could be there with them, but alas it is too far to travel at this point. So I will quietly remember her in my own way.
I will leave you with this beautiful tribute from my sister-in-law Tracey
” Auntie Joan peacefully passed away this morning. She was gentle, elegant and thoughtful. God’s garden has just gained a precious flower and I will miss her warm smile.”
Photo credit Sarah Macmillan