Goodbye Auntie Olive

My great-aunt Olive passed away this morning. Part of me is very sad because I won't get to see her again in this life. Part of me is relieved that her suffering is over. She has been in constant pain for several years now and I am glad that she is pain-free with Jesus right now.

But honestly, part of me doesn't feel like it is even real.

We live far away from each other and it has been several years since I last saw my great-aunt and honestly I have a very hard time believing that she is actually gone. Strange eh?

I am sad that we won't be able to afford to go to her funeral.

My grandma passed away many years ago from cancer. My aunt Olive was my grandma's only sister. She was the matriarch of our family and now she is gone. Cancer is evil.

It feels very strange to me that I am SO very involved in so many funerals here where I live and yet I can't even attend my great aunt's funeral. As the pastor's wife here I help to organize the funeral lunches and stuff and I don't mind doing that. I like helping the family in that way because most of the time I didn't know the deceased all that well. We just haven't been here long enough. But I want to help people in their grief and if that means making sandwiches then that is what I will do.

But it feels so wrong to attend so many non-family funerals- almost one or two a month sometimes- but not to go to the funeral of my aunt whom I loved.

And I know that she would understand. She was poor. She knew we aren't exactly rolling in the dough. And I know her children (my cousins) will understand. At least I hope they will. I think it is especially hard on my mom to not be able to go. They were very close.

I don't even have any digital pictures of her to put up on here today. We didn't even have a digital camera the last time I saw her. I'll have to take a picture of one of my old pictures or something.

So rest in peace my sweet aunt. Know that I love you and I wish I could be there with your children and grandchildren during this time. Know that I am praying for them. And know that I am so very happy that you are pain free and safe in the arms of Jesus right now. Goodbye Auntie Olive.


I'm sorry, Tara.
Amanda said…
I'm sorry you can't go to her funeral either.
Qtpies7 said…
I'm sorry about your loss. It is really hard when you can't be there to make it real. I missed my grandfather and Uncle's funeral because I was living overseas. It was HARD to accept that they are gone. (they lived together my whole life, one a bachelor and one a widower, they were like Bert and Ernie)
G. on the coast said…
Dear Tara,

I met your Aunt Olive once, and she shared a poem that day that touched me. We agreed to connect again, and I never followed up, as I got overcommitted to what was in front of me. I have been thinking of her a lot in the last month. Then your mother said that she was failing. I even thoughe of her a lot last week, as we were moving.

I hope that all of us who are noticing her absence can tell others our thoughts and stories as much as possible - both to share what she leaves with us, and to let others know when we are adjusting to an important change.

In a small community, the greiving is shared, visible. When someone far away passes, we can feel out of step unless others know. So thank you for continuing to share what is important to you.

Perhaps you could share her poem "Hands" someday, or any other poems.

I will continue to value the occasion of our meeting. You and your family are in my thoughts.

G. on the coast

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