My Aunt Aileen passed away this morning. She wasn’t my aunt by blood. Her husband, my Uncle Jack who is also my Godfather, and my father have been best friends ever since they met in Kindergarden. She didn’t die from liver cancer, rather she was in remission from it. What her body ultimately could not take was all of the aggressive treatments to combat the cancer, and her organs began failing her. As Ted often says, “Sometimes it’s hard to tell the poison from the cure.”
I don’t post this to find a barrage of people being sorry for my loss. And while I am very sad, I’m brokenhearted for my Uncle and I’d rather you hold him in your hearts and prayers. What I am going to do is send him a bouquet of Shasta Daisies. While some might think that sending him a bouquet of my favorite flowers would be silly and a bit selfish because he has wished all condolences and such be sent in the form of donations to the American Cancer Society, I want to hopefully give him what my Aunt once gave me. Strength.
The earliest remembrance I have of death and grief was when my Grandmother Marie passed away. I can’t remember exactly how old she was, or how young I was, but I do remember how terrible it was for me, my family and my Grandfather. I also remember that in the midst of all the condolences and cards and flowers sent to the family, my Aunt sent me a separate, small bouquet of sunny daisies with a note that simply said “A bright spot for a sad time…” That one simple, beautiful gesture has stayed with me all of this time, and I suspect it is why they are my favorite flower.
I don’t know if I ever told my Aunt and Uncle how thoughtful and significant that gesture was, but I am going to print out this blog post and send it to him as well. I think it’s important to be reminded in a time of sadness the beauty the person we mourn brought to the lives of others.