Defying Death: We Will Meet Again...
Beginning to Heal...It is a process
We all experience the loss of someone we love and adore...it is the way of things.
My niece's death two years after the death of her brother was a loss none of us were really equipped to handle. No one ever is, I suppose, readily able to handle sudden death and her death, like her brother's, was sudden.
It has taken a toll on all of us. Her children, her grandchildren whom she adored and was adored in return by them, and many of us others as well. The loss for her Momma, my precious sister, has been more devastating than she wanted to let on. She is a strong woman, having faced many losses in her lifetime but the death of two of her children is unimaginable for many....and think of it, the loss of two so close in time, suddenly, shook her to her core.
She is a woman of faith who has amazing courage and is recovering. She has not really gone through the steps of grieving...perhaps she did not know how (you know?) ----not that she did not know the process but she was trying to pick up the pieces so that she could begin to come to terms with the losses and begin to recover.
Know that the sun does rise the next day...your pain changes, does not go away. There is no such thing as 'closure.' There is just quiet acceptance and a new normal, a way of finding out how to live with that precious person or persons no longer in human form.
The Little Blonde is the NIece who Left This Planet Recently
Just a few weeks ago, my niece had a massive stroke about seven in the morning. She was transported to the hospital and over the course of a few hours had numerous other massive strokes and by late that afternoon, she was gone.
Just that fast.
It happened and it was over quickly.
In 2013, My Sister's Son Died Suddenly
One reason the death of my niece has shaken us so was that in 2013, her brother died suddenly.
No prelude, no warning, no anything. He was gone. We were totally devastated. It was a difficult time and we all shook our heads and wondered how it could be.
So here we were, are, two years later, and another of my sister's children is gone.
And a wonderful thing has happened. We have digested it, pondered it, and found peace with it. And are thankful that things turned out as they did.
Did my sister suffer and feel the loss? Absolutely, 100 percent. But she and I muddled through the first few days together...I traveled from Florida and she from Texas to honor her daughter.
And we had, have, each other to make this most unwanted journey with ...a journey we all must take...and a calm and peace have filled our lives because we do have each other to walk with in the wonderful times and in these gut-wrenching times when words are often not necessary...just being with that other person offers comfort and support...the silence gives us time to reflect.
I felt sorrow and still do but I was not my nieces's Momma. My sister was. And for me, knowing that I could be there in Georgia to just to hold her hand was important to me. Because we walk through the tough times together and come out on the other side, new and with a deeper understanding of ourselves and each other.
A Secluded Location in Georgia's Natural Beauty was Where Ashes were Scattered
When All That's Left of Me is Love
This poem by Linda Campanella was read by one of my niece's daughters.
She chose this poem because you could feel my niece's presence when it was read aloud.
No clarification or explanation of the poem is needed...it will speak to you as you read it ..And you will probably hear the voice of someone you love, saying these words to you.
My Niece and Her Brother ...Sharing Heaven Now
When I die
Give what's left of me away
And old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
Put your arms
And give them
What you need to give to me.— Linda Campanella
My Niece, Her Brother (who Left the Planet 2 years ago) and One of Her Daughters
I want to leave you something,
Look for me
In the people I've known
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on in your eyes
And not on your mind. You can love me most
Hands touch hands,
Bodies touch bodies,
And by letting go
That need to be free.— Linda Campanella
Can You Understand? Saddened but Thankful
My sister, my niece's Momma, and I are very close though seven years separate us. We are texting or Skyping often and this day, we both were so thankful that we have each other.
We spoke on the phone often that day in early August...updating what we had heard or what we were thinking...just needing and wanting to hear each other's voice.
And so when I got the last call that afternoon, I was not surprised to hear that she had lost another child.
We cried but were prepared for her death all day as we knew the strokes had caused such serious damage that there was little chance of survival and if she did survive she would be in a vegetative state.
And we find comfort in knowing that she died in a matter of hours rather than lingering on for weeks, months, and even years. She would have been so unhappy had that happened.
So while we miss her each day, we feel blessed that she did not have to suffer on for some indefinite period of time.
Some may not understand...we were so saddened at our loss...but are so thankful she was released from this world as she was.
Love doesn't die,
So, when all that's left of me
Give me away.;— Linda Campanella
Beauty Surrounded Us During the Memorial Service
Surely She is Singing This Song to Each of Us.....
Kitties Adored Here
Those who miss my niece know how to deal with and work through this pain...the pain of wanting to Skype or text or phone someone and knowing they are not there any longer. And feeling thankful that her end came swiftly, albeit too soon.
She left behind three precious kitties who adored her---they are not equipped as we are to deal with the loss. They do mourn and do miss her terribly.
She fussed over them and pampered them so much that they adored her more than some kitties might adore an owner. She was their 'Momma.". The whole house was set up for the kitties...soft pillows were situatied at windows, on top of her dryer, in front of a door that was not used often so the kitties could rest and watch the birdies and squirrels and other critters outside.
She had little tea parties for them throughout the day....she put sweet little plates on the floor for them to have a snack. And they would come and partake.
She would fill a glass full of cool water and invite them to the sink in the kitchen to have a drink from the cup.
In the bathroom there was a small fountain where they could have a sip of water whenever desired.
Wherever you looked, it was evident how loved the kitties were.
She even played 'baseball' with them. She would toss a soft toy or ball to them and they would bat it back!!! It was so adorable to watch.
There was a sign on the door (although invisible if you had not been there before) that stated:
Kitties Adored Here.
More Creatures to Love
And she love, love, loved her critters outside too.
When my sister and I visited last summer (and how happy we are that we did), we were invited to watch her ceremony with the outside creatures that she cared for so kindly.
She had two ducks and at least two or three geese who came to dine usually once a day but sometimes more often.
Along the side of her driveway, she had glass food dishes lined up (which were washed often) where she put food for them to come and enjoy.
One of the ducks had an injury so he hobbled along as best as he could to get to the food for the offerings she put there. It was the cutest thing....when they saw her come out with the food, they headed up across the lawn from the pond which was about an acre from the house. It was a somewhat slow trek but they arrived and stayed to enjoy. They munched on the food she put out and slurped in the water dishes and when they were done, headed back to the pond.
But not always.
To the left of where they dined was about 10 or 15 acres of tall grasses and trees which many critters made their home. And they would find a goose dinner or duck dinner to be a delicacy..
The ducks and geese had been chased by some stealthy creatures from that area before so they were very aware.
If they sensed danger, they waited for an escort back to the pond. As it happened, one morning when I was there, after breakfast had ended, the two ducks were hesitant to leave. My niece said "O, there must be something over there that is frightening them." And she gathered them up, "Come on, Let's go" she said....and she lead them safely back to the pond.
It was spectacular to see.
One of my favorite parts of our visit was seeing her loving the kitties and loving the geese and ducks.
Sharing Her Love
This young woman was quite a character. She was fesisty and opinoniated like most of us in our family. But she was gentle and kind and loving and generous to a fault.
If you read Linda's poem that is shared in this article, you know her.
I miss her every day. I texted her almost every single day and got back a message about this or that every day and always 'love you so very much, Aunt Pat.' The last text I received from her said: "Please never forget how very much I love you, Aunt Pat." And after her death, I wondered if perhaps she had an inkling that she might be nearing her life's end.
My sister mentioned to me that she had received a similar text.
One thing is sure....you knew you were loved by her...she did everything she could to let you know that.
Yes, miss her, I do. But I have the glorious memories of times when I played with her and her siblings and cousins in Virginia when they were growing up. And so many other memories down through the years, keep her close to me.
She had given me some plants to bring home last year and now some of them are almost six feet tall...so again I am reminded of her. I sent my sister a baby one a few weeks back. It keeps her close to our hearts to have these reminders of her.
We WILL Meet Again
In our family, we believe that we will see our loved ones again one day.
And the same is true in this case. We are temporarily separated from her and from others who have preceded us in death, but we know with certainty that our souls will reunite one day.
We do miss those who are gone....but weep not for them. The tears we shed are because we would like to hold them one more time....hear their voices one more time...see the twinkle in their eye, just one more time.
And so, life's cycle continues. Our girl is gone but not forgotten ....and we have great comfort in our belief that she is with others we love and is watching over us.
We will meet again, one more time...no doubt about it.
© 2015 Patricia Scott