I had a sad day yesterday. Some of you may have noticed, from my Haiku post. Since Sunday, when I drove back from my parents, I kept on seeing one magpie. There are so many of them around, but only one at a time came into my vision. If you know the rhyme, you know what the sighting of one single magpie is said signify, if you aren’t familiar, read more here. I thought maybe it was because we were saying bye to my brother and his family, or because we were heading home, and I was leaving my parents, but there was a bigger reason, which I found out yesterday. And feeling the sadness I still am, seeing a single Magpie again today just emphasised my sorrow.
It is always awful to lose a loved one, let alone two. Even if you know the news is coming, and you prepare yourself, it is never an easy bit of news to digest. I wrote about saying Goodbye before.
This is what I was faced with yesterday.
Our weekend had gone swimmingly, but there had been a shadow hanging over that too.
My oldest first cousin was in hospital. She had suffered a massive heart attack 10 days previously. After various procedures, she had emergency open heart surgery, after which she hadn’t gained consciousness. She wasn’t responding. The odds were on the machine being switched off were very high.
We prayed that she was ok, that she would hang on, take a turn for the better even. It was a special prayers, especially for my Finndian nephew, on Saturday. A time of joy and thanksgiving. And the fear was ever present that something could happen before, or even during the ceremony. But it didn’t. God, and my cousin were with us on that score.
On Sunday, a decision was made, that indeed, they couldn’t keep her hanging, and on Monday, once all the immediate family were gathered, her inner light was to be dimmed. The machine keeping her alive was to be switched off.
So with this bit of information, I went to work with a heavy heart yesterday. I knew that I would receive a sorrow filled message from Pops at some point in the day.
And at 7.45am, as I was chatting to a colleague about our weekends, my phone beeped. It was Pops. I read the words, several times over. What I was reading was not computing. I was expecting to read about a certain person, but instead Pops was announcing the passing of another family member. My Great aunt. My mother’s last surviving aunt.
Tears pooled in my eyes and began to drop. It wasn’t just the fact that we had lost a very special lady, but that I had not been expecting that news today. She was old, and yes, her time to go had been imminent for the last 4 years, but I was prepared for another bit of news, not about my dear old Great Aunt.
I just about made it through the day, checking my phone regularly, but I didn’t get the message about my cousin until after 4pm. She slipped away peacefully with all her family around her.
Two more stars graced the skies as of yesterday. And they will be bright ones. Both women were extremely colourful characters. I am almost glad I didn’t see them in hospital, as they had become mere shells of themselves. I have memories of these larger than life women, who had opinions, and shared them, who fought for causes dear to their hearts, who loved us all dearly.
I spent the evening sobbing, then composing myself, only to feel tears on my cheeks again. The waiting, stress, and tension had given me a migraine too. My work were wonderful, and I had the day off today to compose myself, and make all those essential, but very tough phone calls. Neither of these precious souls lived close to me, so shall have to time getting over there to pay my condolences.
But I have come to accept what happened. It’s never easy.
My only fear… they say things come in threes. I may need to accidentally on purpose go and break my favourite cup, or something. I couldn’t cope with any more bad news,