Wow, do I have amazing friends reading this blog, or what? I am so touched by all of your comments after this morning’s post. It was really hard for me to write that, but now after reading all of your comments I almost felt silly for ever feeling nervous.
The drive up was beautiful. It turned out to be only a 2.5 hour drive instead of the 3+ that we were expecting, so that was nice.
These were taken around the Muskoka area:
Today was hard as was expected. But it was also a beautiful day. We remembered Aunt Bun for the amazing, spirited, beautiful, and happy person that she was. We shared funny stories from old days and recent ones.
When I walked in I was immediately taken aback because they had a slideshow playing with pictures of Bun and I saw a photo of me and bun when I was just a little girl. I was so touched that they included this in the slideshow. There was also one with my sister and I with Bun and her husband Gerry.
I actually got to speak with Bun’s nurse, Dawn, who had gotten to know her very well while she was in the hospital. She said Aunt Bun was one of the liveliest and fun people that she has ever had the opportunity to work with. She said working with her made her job fun.
Apparently Aunt Bun used to ask Dawn to sing to her all the time. And when Dawn would sing to other patients she would jokingly yell across the hall, “Hey! What are you doing singing to him??” :D Dawn also said Bun would smack her butt as she walked by and tell her not to ‘rush her’ when she was taking her pills ever so slowly. Aunt Bun was a real character and Dawn and her had a wonderful time together. It made me happy to hear that she had such a compassionate nurse working with her. I tell you nurses do NOT get paid enough! They are truly angels in this world.
I also had the opportunity to finally meet some of my mom’s family who I had never met before! It was so nice getting to put faces to names.
The man standing next to me in the photo is my Uncle Gerry, Bun’s husband. It was so good to see him again. It has been a long time. I have such great memories staying at their place when I was young. Gerry used to take us snowmobiling, fishing, and many other fun things. He is one of the nicest and most caring people I know. We chatted for a while and he told me that he was really happy I could be there. I was too.
He visited Bun at the hospital every day and wouldn’t leave her side. Bun passed holding Gerry’s hand with her dog at her side. Bun’s dog (who is like a child to them), woke Gerry up when Bun passed. Isn’t that amazing? Dogs are so intuitive.
During the ceremony, the speaker talked about Bun’s love for gardening. He said to go out and buy seeds and plant them in your garden. And every time you look at them you will think of Bun.
This made me cry because not more than 30 minutes before the ceremony I popped into a store to buy my first bags of seeds. I think it was for a reason. :)
My mom and I are going to plant them tomorrow.
I also wanted to share this beautiful comment from reader, Em:
“The mere idea of death is frightening to people, because of all things in life, it’s the only one that equals us all, the only one that is certain beyond any doubt. To add to that, we also don’t really know what happens, if anything, and we have no control over it. One could be young, vibrant, and have everything going for them, and be mowed flat tomorrow without warning. What’s not to be afraid of? Not talking about it though is like "he who shall not be named": a residual superstition, the avoidance to talk about something that frightens us all, giving it more aura than it deserves, and prolonging the fear.
As for feelings, one thing to remember is that we all fight our battles every day. Regardless of who you are, where you were born, or how you live, we’re all fighting daily for something we want, or simply don’t want. If we could stop, for a second, being so worried about the image we project, and be concerned about the image we DON’T project instead, we’d realize that alienating each other is more detrimental to life in general than almost anything else. We’re all after the same things, albeit in different ways. There is no shame in being human.
I have learned to accept death as part of life, as it should be, but it doesn’t make it any less scary. We all die, it’s merely only sad for the ones remaining, the dead don’t seem to care as much as we do :) The ceremonies, the grief… it’s the mark of the living, not that of the dead. I consider grief the only universal milestone in the life of a human: the more people regret the loss of your life, the better you’ve done as a member of your community.
I must admit to have copied your description of your Aunt as a motto for the remainder of my own life. I can only aspire to ever be described as a "vibrant, outgoing, smiling, and loving person with the biggest heart that you have ever seen". I think your Aunt would be proud.”
I couldn’t agree more Em…thank you for this. You have such a beautiful way with words!
I have lots of fake house preparation before my parents arrive tomorrow! Fake house = cleaning. :)
See you tonight for OSG’s regular scheduled programming.