My great-aunt passed away this week. She had no children, was close to my immediate family. In her last few years of life, she developed dementia. When she passed away she had not been able to recognize me, my brother, or my dad for almost three years. In a sense it was merciful that she died relatively quickly and not over the course of weeks or months — she was put in the hospital with congestive heart failure and severe pneumonia late Sunday/early Monday and passed away on Tuesday morning. I hope she died without much pain. At any rate, I know she’s much better off with her Father in Heaven now than she was on earth these past few years, confused, frustrated, and frail. I received the news on Monday in the middle of the MLK celebration to which my boyfriend had brought me along (the event represented months’ worth of his work). Despite this, my bf was super-compassionate and empathetic, holding me while I cried and insisting that he take me home right away despite my protests. I was deeply touched at his response.
As a result of this week, family is at the top of my mind as I write. I am impressed by the fact that you can do so much to psyche yourself up for an event, all to realize that in the end, none of your preparations really matter when life intervenes. That bento I was so [overly?] proud of? Never got eaten. But who cares? The only things that mattered to me at that time were the fragility of my family (we won’t all be around forever), how much losing someone you love hurts, and gratitude for my boyfriend’s overwhelming kindness. Pretty lunches could be eaten some other day.
Like today, in fact :). I made a snack bento to take with me to class. A char-siu bao, mandarin orange segments, and an apple jelly.
Please understand that this is an improvement. A couple days ago I didn’t want to look at my blog b/c it had the picture of the lunch I made for Monday as the first entry, and looking at it made me feel silly and stupid, that I got so excited about packing my lunch when my aunt was dying. I’m starting to come out of the emotional woods now, at least temporarily. I think things will probably come back when I go home for the funeral, but for now life is starting to seem real again.