January 27, 2012
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Strong sister, good Mom
Took care of Grandma, Grandpa
Left good memories
|L to R, Grandma Spada, my Mom and Auntie Angie with my sister and brother around 1945|
I wonder why these things are done in the same way and have been in our family as long as I can remember. Not sure what I’d do differently, but there seems to be an element gone astray at what I call, a funeral home funeral.
When my daughter was lost to this world in a terrible automobile accident, we knew we had some responsibility to take care of the body. We chose to have her remains cremated. The people at the funeral home wanted to sell us a brass urn to hold the ashes. We were fine with a cardboard box. In fact, we didn’t want the ashes. They were reverted back to the ground to become part of the soil.
What we wanted to save was her spirit. We wanted to hold this with us in our hearts forever and we have done so. Yet there are people that need these funeral home funerals to say goodbye and to close the book, so to speak, on the life of a human being they knew when that person walked among them.
With this in mind, and it is in my mind every time I feel the need to attend a funeral, I was present when they laid my Aunt to rest yesterday. I honored her life and the part in my life she played. When I was a youngster growing up, we’d visit her home often because Grandma and Grandpa Spada lived with her and her family and it was the custom in my father’s household to visit his parents every Sunday afternoon.
As we cousins grew up and moved away to raise our own families, I didn’t see my Aunt very often, but when I did, she was the same steady voice and demeanor. She always told me how much I looked like my father, who was her brother, and told me she loved me. She grabbed me by the cheeks and held on to me like I was her own. I guess I was of her own.
There was sadness and tears, but there was a lightheartedness to seeing family and reuniting around her. Everyone knew she was in a hurry to join her husband, my Uncle Willis, who passed last April. Auntie Ange was having health problems of her own and they were getting progressively worse. When they told her she had some kind of cancer on top of the rest of the age related ailments, she let herself return to her maker.
It was a whirlwind of a trip as I haven’t driven anywhere in almost three months and I was chompin’ at the bit to get on the road. More about that soon. For now, I acknowledge the loss of my Aunt from this world and will miss her very much.