Rest in Peace

My aunt died this morning, one week after her 70th birthday. It was sudden, yet not surprising.

I’d be lying if I said we were close. She lived her life in such a way I couldn’t be part of it, nor could most of her family. The courts kept her away from her grandchildren. Her only child, my cousin Jenna, died four years ago of an overdose. Her oldest grandchild, Jen’s little girl, died 14 years ago in a car accident.

Yet all lives matter. There are some good memories, and I choose to keep those close. More importantly, she was my mom’s sister, and there is a bond there that cannot be broken. My mom is mourning her loss, and therefore, I am, too.

It’s funny how we swing to the good when someone dies. We want to remember them as their best selves. I pray she is able to be that person now.

Rest in peace, Mary Carol. Say hi to Jenna and Zoë for us.

Jenna and Mary, December 1982 (with Humphrey)

15 Replies to “Rest in Peace”

  1. My condolences on your loss. I must say that the irony here is that my Mom died in January of 2014. I have an aunt that chooses to be estranged from most of the family. I believe she still lives with her daughter in Santa Barbara. As we age, we know that our time is shortened. It would behoove us to make as many good memories as we can while we are all living. Sometimes that may be available as a choice and sometimes it’s not. My aunt chooses the distance. But, as you, I still have some good memories to hold onto.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, the older we get the more we recognize the importance of family. Mary — and Jenna — are important to me because they were family, regardless of anything they may have said or done. I mourn their loss, and the loss of connection that could have been.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I hardly know the details of this tragic story. Your family went through so much sadness!
    My very first thought was that so much grief followed the death of the youngest child. Her mother died from a drug overdose – I have no doubt she suffered terribly with the loss of her sweet daughter and was eager to join her. And now your aunt, who suffered both losses, is with them now.
    Of course, I don’t know any details. But it sounds so sad – lives were ruined by grief, I’m certain.
    Thinking of you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It all started so much before Zoe’s death, but you’re right, the grief was overwhelming for both Jenna and Mary. As someone who’s lost a child you have a better concept of how engulfing the tragedy of first losing a grandchild, then her only child, would be for Mary. And Jenna’s pain… The rest of the story would be inappropriate to relate at this time, and of course I don’t know much of it. But it is heartbreaking.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Condolences to you – my mum died in 2008 and last year, her sister died. I flew over to be with her for a week a month or so before her death, to her home in Italy. It was sad – she was a difficult person and her life had been eternally marked by leaving behind her three young children when she fled her marriage some forty odd years before. I suppose I felt I was fulfilling a familial duty – you know, being there for her in my mum – her sister’s absence.

    Like you, I want to remember her for the good she did – offering people the opportunity to stay in her lovely home by the Venetian coast, cooking fabulous Italian cuisine and providing beach towels and toys for the children to play with on the sand.

    I hope that like you with your aunt, mine finds a peace in death that eluded her in life. Take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your understanding words. I’m sorry your aunt’s life was marked in such a way; it sounds like she tried to make it up for it in some way in later years. A lot of pain for her and her children, no doubt. Again, thank you.


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