Aunties Love us Unconditionally – #Grief #Loss

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cherish-1016983_1280 Aunty LeeAunties can see our point of views sometimes better than our moms. They can step outside of the box and see both sides when children are in conflict with their moms. They can nurse the wounds we sometimes feel inflicted on us by our moms. They know best about their sister’s character flaws. They do not judge nor condemn.

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My Aunty Lee. A very clever woman; perhaps not with schooled education, but street-wise. She was a lover of life and her family, a woman who wore her battle scars bravely. She was the second youngest of six siblings. My aunt stood by and buried them all – all much too young to die, including herself. She also buried a husband at a young age and fended for herself and children and only a few short years ago, she buried her son who suffered terribly with Crohn’s disease, a dreaded bowel disease that four cousins, including myself inherited somewhere down the line from dysfunct genes.

I never heard her complain, nor question the griefs she had lived through. A true testament of a woman of strength. Never afraid to speak up when she found an injustice. That was my Aunty Lee. She never condemned, nor condoned me or my siblings for not talking to our mother, her sister, for she had tasted that wrath many times herself, yet never walked away.

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The last brave thing I remember her doing was only a few months ago when we were sitting shiva for my mother after she passed, an old friend of my mother’s had come to pay her respects and when she snubbed her nose at me and my sister as though we didn’t exist for no longer being in our mother’s life, my aunt spoke up. She told her that we are all in mourning together, no matter what our differences were and not to make judgments on us, for nobody else has walked in our shoes. I was touched beyond belief. The woman left.

That was the last brave thing I remembered before my aunt hadn’t been feeling well with stomach problems. She went to the doctor who had ordered up a colonoscopy. That revealed a blockage she went a few weeks later to have rectified by laproscopic surgery. Only then when they looked inside, they decided to close her up when they found a multitude of stomach tumours plus ovarian cancer. The next day they sentenced her with a few weeks to live.

I’d been to visit her several times. To look at her one wouldn’t even know she was sick. Her spirit was good, we shared true laughter – and intermittently we shared tears. “I don’t want to die” she said. In her next breaths, she proceeded to tell me her plans to finalize things and prepare for the next world as though sharing a nonchalant story.

My Aunty Lee proudly wearing the St. Lucia T-Shirt I got her. 2/24/2015
My Aunty Lee proudly wearing the St. Lucia T-Shirt I got her. 2/24/2015

Who does that? Who goes in for a test and a minor surgery and has the grim reaper give them a death sentence and yet carry on so stoicly in their moments of fear? My Aunty Lee does, and she did. She was brave through it all, while she kept us sane, always with a smile.

They sentenced her with three weeks to live in January, and she soldiered on until today, Thursday June 4th. The last female standing of the strong matriarchal lineage. Now the torch to keep the family binds are handed down to me, my sister and two female cousins.

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God has rested your soul Aunty Lee. You are with your son and so much family we have lost through the years. We will miss you terribly, but we know you will watch over us from above.




16 thoughts on “Aunties Love us Unconditionally – #Grief #Loss

  1. First of all, my sincere condolences to you and all who loved Auntie Lee, who seems to have served her family well as matriarch and role model. This is a lovely tribute, especially her gentle rebuke to the woman who snubbed you at your mother’s wake.

    My Auntie Lee is Aunt Ruthie, my strongest life mentor. We stand on the shoulders of women like these.


  2. Your Auntie Lee left you with so many great memories, she gave you strength when you needed it, and you were there for each other. The signs will come when you need them most. Sending you so much love my dear, strong, sweet, friend. I wish I could wrap my arms around you. ❤


    1. Oh thank you Annie girl for stopping by and leaving your wise words and love here. You know only too well, as you have had more than your share of grief lately. I’m still thinking of you, and feel your hugs. xo <3. P.S. I'm so happy you have followed your dream and you are where you want to be! (((hugs)))


  3. My sincere sympathies, Debby. I know this is a great loss to you and no words can soothe your sorrow. I wish you many beautiful memories and strength to carry your Aunt Lee’s torch. ❤


  4. RIP… wish you courage, strength, serenity… people whom we loved and who loved us continue to live in our hearts, even after they left for a “better world”, ’cause LOVE alone is eternal…


  5. Deb, my sincere condolences… I can not believe even with our Aunts how our synchronisities still entwine our various life stories…
    My Aunt was my Dads sister, and she was like my second Mother, in that she was always there, would listen and not interfere, but offer warmth and advice and who stepped back and couldn’t understand my own Mother’s attitude. Yet would never openly judge..

    I know your Aunt fell ill around January, my own Aunt passed in January of this year.. And she too had 8 siblings, and only 2 survived her.. She buried her husband when she was 55.. And never fully recovered from my Uncle’s Loss..

    She also planned her own funeral.. A year in advance, asking me to speak and do my thing, ( As I have spoken and wrote poems at many a funeral )… It was a hard day to get through, but I wrote a poem and spoke knowing it would be watched from the other side with a big smile she always had..

    Deb, your Aunt sounds to have been and still is a beautiful Spirit.. with so much Love in her heart..

    I know you will miss her..
    Sending my thoughts across the airwaves to you Deb..
    Love and Healing

    Sue x ❤


    1. Wow Sue, you weren’t kidding about our similar paths. Our aunts were gifts to help us through unsteady moments.
      Coincidentally, I wrote my aunt’s eulogy, in collaboration with the Rabbi. But I did not read it, I couldn’t. I wrote it for the Rabbi to read, and he did. I was glad that everyone knew I had written about her. My cousin D (her only daughter) and I are close and have spent some great time in this past week, remembering all the goodness about her mom. Thanks as always Sue for sharing your stories here and with me, and for sending me warm thoughts. xo ❤


  6. Thank you, Debby. She was and is a remarkable woman. Thank you for sharing her here. And I can feel your love and sadness throughout. How lovely that she defended you and your decision to distance yourself from a relationship that could not heal. No matter what their age, It’s hard to lose those people who would defend us in those ways. Sending you peace.


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