Monday, April 4, 2011

what we're left with.

My Aunt Rose died a little over a week ago. What can I say about this woman? I didn't know her as well as I probably should have. I lost touch with her in recent years, so busy I've been starting a family, decorating a home, turning myself into an adult.

My mom was able to go to her funeral (I wasn't) and bring me back little pieces of my aunt's history. She was an amazing woman: funny, lighthearted, an incredible quilter, artistic, lovable. My mom told me stories of how when she was little, it was her aunt's house that she look forward going to the most. It was there that she could blossom and thrive in ways she couldn't at home.


I've always prided myself on not valuing material possessions overly much. I don't believe that the things around us are nearly as important as less tangible moments: a kiss from a small child, the smell of wood burning, church bells in the distance. But my viewpoint wavers a bit when I encounter objects from the past, especially when it belonged to someone I knew.


When someone we love dies, all we're left with is the things they owned. Or pictures. Both incite memory--we smell them, we feel a weight wafting around the room, if only for a moment. And they're there--alive!--again for just a few seconds, so strongly rendered in sensation that we have to turn around to make sure our deceased isn't standing there.

unfinished quilt square

And the bittersweet sensation that runs through us as we realize--only after our loved is gone--that we shared interests, hobbies even. That if time had been a little kinder, or different, or our clocks could run backward, we could sit together, share cloth and needle and talk of vintage antiques. But we didn't know, and it never occurred to us to ask.


But this is how it goes with our elders. We get used to the idea that they're here and then--suddenly--they're not.

I'm thankful I have my believe: that death isn't the end, that we will one day look over those we've left behind. That my Aunt Rose can see me, sitting in my living room, running my fingers over these treasures,  looking them over with an expression of awe and thankfulness.

I am humbled.


  1. Love this post. So insightful. I am sorry for your loss. I am glad you were able to share with us.

  2. this post is touching.. and look at all those beautiful things... u are right, she is smiling down at you.... xo hugs

  3. i love this post and i relate to it big time! i cherish every single thing i have of my grandmother's .. my aunt..and my best friend ramey. thank you for sharing.


  4. i appreciate this. <3 more than happy to share.


Please leave some love--remember to be kind!