Saturday, March 29, 2014

While Waiting

I need to write Aunt Winnie's obit for the program. I keep waiting for inspiration to strike, for joy at the memory of her to fill me, booting out the sadness, the free floating feeling of anxiety and angst, which might be grief or something else, but whatever it is, I don't want to write about Aunt Winnie and how wonderful she was to me, to all of us, while marinating in anxiety, while trying to get free of the unruly thoughts that assail me, the fist that has closed like a vise around my heart, my throat which feels brimmed with tears. I push them down, because who can cry all the time. I think I have never felt so alone. I am sorting through photos sent to me by family members. I am gathering them for the picture spread of the program. Here are a few.

The sisters and brothers (and one friend), circa 1934
My great grandfather had an impressive mustache, no?

Me and my mom and two cousins. The cousin on my mom's
left did the whole eldercare dance with me. Faithfully.

I love this pic of my aunt. You can see the 70s feminist
and civil rights rabble rouser with her curly fro.


  1. Oh honey. Do you have anything you can take for the anxiety? You need to break the stranglehold.
    How I wish I could be there to pour you a drink or just hold your hand or something.
    And of course you're having such a hard time writing that obit. How in the world could you possibly feel up to the task of writing something that would do credit to such an amazing woman? And yet, you will.
    I am sending love.

    1. Thank you, dear Mary. Her life was so big. How to reduce it to a page? But as you say, I will because that is what must be done. hugs.

  2. I'm thinking of you. The words will come.

    I never felt so alone in this world as I did the few days following my Dad's death. I wrote my eulogy and put together the slide show of his life and tended to a hundred details, almost all of the details, and those things kept me in check. When all was done, I fell apart, and will likely always carry around the cracks, and that strange feeling of otherness, which I can't begin to explain, except that grief is such a personal journey, there are no group rates.

    Focus on the love your Aunt had for her family and how that love multiplied and shined all over the place, bouncing back and forth between all of you like beams of light.

    I wish I could give you a hug. I am in my heart right now. xo

    1. Oh, Mel, yes. Thank you for that language. I think you've cracked open the door...Much love, friend.

  3. You are not alone, although I certainly understand the feeling and the anxiety...You are grieving and still in shock...The words will come, just let them and let others be a balm as they can. You have a lot of love in your family, as [your Aunt's life exemplified. Hold fast to that. Thinking of you.

  4. The feeling of aloneness, being set apart, so hard to bear. When that happens to me, I always get the image of myself in outer space. I am thinking of you with so much love. When my Grandmother died I wrote a eulogy that I read at her funeral, and toward the end I began crying and couldn't stop. My Uncle had to come up and read the rest. We do what we can do. Love, love.

  5. She looks so fierce with her afro.