One Thousand Eight Hundred Twenty-Six

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It’s extremely difficult to use past tense words when writing about someone you love. It’s not easy to say “she was…….” or “he used to……….” because, in reality, you wish that they were still alive and you could say that “she is” or “he does.”

I’ve struggled with feeling like my aunt’s death was not fair. I’ve selfishly thought to myself that I wished it was someone else, someone not nearly as kind and loving as my aunt. A horrible thought, but I’ve had it nonetheless.

When my aunt died, I was dating Tony. My mom called me minutes after her sister died and while I was trying to wrap my mind around my mother’s words, I felt like I would throw up because my mind was spinning in one thousand directions. My mom had to be lying to me. That’s all I could tell myself. I couldn’t stand to be at my house, left alone with my thoughts, so I drove in the middle of the night to Tony’s house, crawled in bed next to him, and cried. I cried the entire night. I didn’t go to work the next day. I was numb. I was angry actually. Part of me thought that my aunt must feel so much better since her body was no longer suffering, but mostly I was mad that she couldn’t have been cured on this side of eternity. Tony played a huge role in helping me navigate those lonely days after Roxanne died. He was patient and loved me tenderly through a sad, confusing time. I’ll always be grateful for him in those moments.

So here we are, 1,826 days since my aunt slipped into Heaven. Five years. I can honestly say that I’ve missed her every single one of those days. I’ve missed her on good days and bad. I’ve missed her when I had exciting news and when I needed advice. In fact, last month I picked up my phone, and without thinking, I started to type her name in my phone so I could send her a text message. When I realized what I was doing, tears came to my eyes and I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted on Facebook about missing her mom who passed away several  years ago. She wrote that “still being sad is so special. How sad it would be for today to just be another day.” This is true for me as another year passes without my aunt. How sad it would be for me to no longer miss her. That would mean that she hadn’t left a legacy in my heart, one that I want to continue on with my nieces and nephews.

Aunt Roxanne, I love you and I miss you. See you in my dreams.

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