Day 198. Missing Them

February is a difficult month for me.  Oh, I know, lots of folks suffer through February.  It can be a dreary month; and by the time we’ve gotten through November andsad2 December and January we’re worn down by winter.  And can’t wait for Spring.

But that’s not my problem.

Three beloved family members have been taken from me, in February.  Stolen, I sometimes think.  My cousin, who was more like my sister.  My mother’s twin sister, who was my other mother, my confidante and friend.  And my mother.

Cheryl (my cousin) passed a long time ago. In 1976, when she was only twenty-four years old, of what was diagnosed as fulminating hepatitis.  Which it couldn’t have been, because her dad died of the exact same thing when she was thirteen months old.  Clearly she’d inherited something.  So much for the accuracy of autopsies.

Anyway, she died on February 15.  Her mother, on February 3, 2000; and my mother on February 26, 2007.

Bizarre, isn’t it?  That the three of them would all die in the same month.  Like some strange, twisted, cruel co-incidence.  Or, maybe not.  I’ll never know.  Or will I?

What’s really a bit spooky is something my mother told me, not all that long before she died.  She said she’d been having the most vivid dreams about my aunt, night after night, for months.  She said they were so real, she’d look around the room when she woke up, expecting to find her, sitting there, in a chair.

She’d wake up, still talking to her.

Sick as she was, my mother’s death was unexpected.  So it isn’t like she had doom and gloom on her mind.  Not that she would have, anyway.  She certainly wouldn’t have been thinking about her mortality.  When it was her time, she’d  have gone kicking and screaming all the way.  Nobody had more of a zest for life than my mother did.  So leaving this earth was not a subject she dwelled upon.

It bothered me, though.  It was like a dark cloud.  A premonition.  I never said anything to my mother, of course.  Or anyone else.  Until this very minute.  But it filled me with dread.

For me, it was as if my aunt was visiting.  Trying to convince my mother to ‘come over’ to the other side.

Honestly, it wouldn’t have surprised me.  Because those two were so close, you would have thought they were physically attached to each other.  And mentally.  And emotionally.  Even spiritually.  It was like they shared a heart and a brain.  Which in some, abstract way, they did.  They were, after all, identical twins.  One egg.

Everyone knew how much my mother missed my aunt.  So no one would have been surprised to learn my aunt still missed my mother.  Even in the after life.  But still, it pissed me off.

“You’ll just have to wait”, I’d say to my aunt.  Or at least, to her spirit.  “I still need her”.  “Leave her alone”.  “Leave us alone”.  “Go AWAY!”  “Not now.”  “Not yet.”  “Just wait!!”

She didn’t listen to me, though.  Did she?

Then again, maybe she wasn’t sent to do the convincing.  Maybe she was sent to do the accompanying.  To hold my mother’s hand.  To make sure she didn’t have to travel alone.

That’s a nice thought, isn’t it?  Comforting.

And it makes sense.  Because, in life, that’s exactly what they did for each other.  They were always there to guide.  To share.  To assist.  To laugh together.  To cry together. They were sisters.  Soul mates.  Best friends.  They supported each other in life.  So why not after life?

Hopefully, they hooked up.  Found each other.  I like to think they did.  All of them.  And a host of others, including my dad.

Lovely, don’t you think?  Not that it makes it any easier for me.  They say it gets easier.  I’m not so sure, honestly.  It’s less ‘raw’.  The pain dulls.  You stop grieving.  You get on with living.  You experience joy.  You laugh.  You do.  You go.  You love.

But you never stop missing those you’ve lost.

At least I haven’t.

30 thoughts on “Day 198. Missing Them

  1. There’s something inspiring in the fact that “haunting” and “missing” are two sides of the same coin. Even as we’re haunted by the loved ones we miss, the fact that they haunt us — that we never stop missing them — is a testament to the impact they’ve had on our lives, not to mention the love we’ve shared with them. Thank you for sharing this touching post.

    • It’s true. And these three women sure had a huge, everlasting impact on me. I am lucky to have had them in my life. And my memories of them, and I have so, so many, bring me a lot of joy. I am glad you liked this post. You would certainly have liked them.

  2. G-d bless my love. Unspeakable grief and x three makes it all the more harder. I truly believe your loved ones are together laughing and joking.

    I always look up to the sky when I want to talk to my grandfather who died 20 years ago now. I’m sure he’s in a happier place.

    I’m thinking of you in this month of sad times. I’m glad for your sake it’s a short month and March will bring sunshine and happier times and thoughts. XXX

  3. Such a sweet post Fransi. About 5 years ago my children’s grandmother was gravely ill, I was divorced from her son so I had no place at her deathbed, but I stressed to my 3 children-who were all in their mid to late teens at that time-that they were their grandmothers favorites and that no matter how bad it got, and how scared they became, they all MUST stay with her and comfort her until the end, so that she knows that someone is there with her and she doesn’t have to leave this world alone. They all 3 did stay. I know it was an awful thing for children to see, death, but it had to be more terrifying for her, as her body was failing her and the light was getting brighter.
    I am so proud of all of them for helping her go, because only about a year prior to that I had to guide my own beloved grandma to the light, and I swore to myself that I would never let someone I love die alone, no matter how terrifying it was and I hope that when it comes my turn, someone will be there by my side to whisper to me “Everything is ok, don’t worry, relax, I love you”.

    • Thank you; and I agree with you. I was with my mother, as well. Sadly, though, we can only take them so far. That’s why I like to think my aunt was there, for the rest of the journey. You gave your kids the right advice. It is wonderful that they listened; and took it. Grief is one thing. Guilt is another. And it’s not as easy to get over.

    • Thanks, I agree. Yes, it is fine, thank you. I miss them and think of them all the time, actually, not just in this month. And even February comes with some good times.

  4. My January is your February. I lost both my mom and dad in January 28 years apart. It’s a horrible month, bitter cold and my birthday month too. My dad was buried on my birthday so I prefer to celebrate my halfbirthday in July. You are so right though. My dad died in ’58 and my mother in ’86 and I still miss them. Once in a while, I walk to the phone to call my mother. Then I remember that I don’t have to dial to talk to her.

    • I reach for the phone dozens of times each week. it’s strange, isn’t it? But you’re right. We don’t need a phone to talk to our loved ones.

  5. Such a lovely post. I know what you mean, you do never stop missing them. It was my friend’s 21st birthday a couple of days ago. She died at 19 of cancer, and it was a horrible shock. We weren’t as close as we had been as children, but it was still a blow when she passed away – especially as I had thought she was in remission. I couldn’t go to her funeral as I live so far away, but I released a Chinese lantern to try and have my own little goodbye. But I still sometimes wonder what she’d be doing now if she was alive. I still sometimes get a shock, a feeling of horror at it. You don’t expect it when you’re so young. Then another friend – not someone I was all that close to, but someone I had been to school with since I was 4 and felt like I knew quite well – died less than a year later. Now I feel like I’m always scared of something like this happening. I shouldn’t be, I know I shouldn’t. But it’s a fear that I find hard to shake.
    But that’s a tangent. I just wanted to say I agree. I have yet to stop thinking about those I have lost. And when it leaves you with a fear…a feeling of doom…well, it doesn’t make it easier. I guess I just have to learn to let it go.
    I did like the story of your mother’s dreams of your aunt. It gives me comfort to think that the people we love stay with us. I hope they do.

    • We have to believe they do. And there’s no reason to believe they don’t. Thank you for sharing your stories. I am very sorry about your friends. They were too young. Way too young. Enjoy your happy memories of them. That’s what I do.

      • Thank you for sharing yours as well. And thanks for the advice. I’m trying to do that. I still have a charm from the first friend I mentioned’s 9th birthday cake. I kept it all these years, when I miss her I find it and I smile and think of all the chats we had, when she’d tell me all about her birthplace of Russia. It’s like that phrase, ‘don’t be sad it’s over, be glad it happened’ I guess.

      • Absolutely! That’s a great philosophy to live by. I think it is lovely that you still have that momento. You should keep it, always.

  6. Well if it is time to go, I would call that a comforting transition. I am sure she wasn’t afraid to go, only to be leaving you. But she left part of herself in you, so you can always take comfort in that in the quieter moments.

  7. You are right. We never stop missing them. IMHO, time does not heal but rather teaches us how to manage our grief. I don’t stop to think of specific dates. Why should one day be worse than all the others from which they are missing? Sadly, death is a part of life and lucky are we who, like you, are left with strong memories to keep the spirit of our loved ones firmly in our hearts and minds. They do live on.
    I love your description of the closeness of your mother and her sister.

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