Sunday, March 22, 2009

Painful goodbyes

Rather than let this weekend go down in history as that time my niece asked about my boobs (or continuous lack thereof) I should probably say something about the more important and emotional things that happened like the funeral for my sister Kim's mother-in-law.

She had been in the hospital for the last two weeks beginning with pneumonia that eventually snowballed into kidney failure. It was excruciatingly sad but not entirely unexpected.

I didn't knew her well but I did see and speak to her at every birthday and joint-family outing. What I did know of her was extremely kind and attentive. She was always curious about how I was or what I'd been up to. She was genuinely interested in the people around her and she never let me feel invisible.

I attended her calling hours Friday night and her funeral Saturday afternoon. My heart broke as I listened to the poem my niece, Valerie, read at her mass. My heart broke again as I watched tears fall from beneath the sunglasses of my other niece, Ashley, while the National Guard played "Taps" during her grandmother's burial. It was extremely hard to watch them endure a pain that even I haven't had to experience, at least not at an age in which I truly understood what was happening. It was understandably emotional and hard to accept, but the entire family held their heads high, and tried with all their might to be at peace with what was happening.

I only hope that I can be as graceful and open as they were to me.

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