My Aunt Bonnie died today. My Mom cried. I cried for her and for her other four sisters; each one a fierce, feisty, formidable woman, in her own unique way, all with B names, Barbara, Beverly, Brenda, Betty-Lane, Belinda. I’ve known them my whole life. They are, quite viscerally, a part of me.
And it’s not just memories; helping Betty-Lane “accidentally” run in to her beloved Frank, laughing at one of Barb’s babysitter jokes, scheming with Belinda to keep Granny away from the sherry at the Family Christmas, mourning the loss of my dad with Brenda. There’s blood and guts and breath and energy and all of the collective parts that make being human and feeling alive and being part of a family so wonderful and wacky and the wild wild ride that is life.
I’m honestly stumped with how to deal with the loss of a significant human being in my life. It is a bit like the fabric of me has been torn apart. I will never be the same. And I know deep down in my heart that I am not meant to be. Each loss that I have experienced binds me closer to the tenderness of my soft heart and to the energy of the hearts of all whom I love, have loved and let go. I feel all of it, all of them, bear witness to the great, gnashy, gushing weight of it, let Bonnie’s death radiate through me.
And in spite of the sadness, and the longing and the wish that all of it did not have to be so so painful, I am grateful to be here now, to hug my mother, to listen to her soft whisperings on the phone to her sisters of her own pain, sadness, mixtures of moments past, present and future. We make chicken soup together, Bevie and I and add dumplings like my dad’s mother Helen would have done; savoring their succulent sweetness, remembering, breathing.