Thursday, October 25, 2007

Reminder of guilt

My Great Aunt passed away last Wednesday. Her name was Ann, but I called her Aunt B. I wasn't all that close to her, but she was, after all, my Great Aunt. I hadn't talked to her in 4 years. I always made sure to send her a Christmas card with pictures of the kids, but I never felt compelled to stop over at her apartment when I was in town. It's a decision I now regret.

After my Grandmother died in October of 2001, I swore I'd never let this happen to me again. I hadn't talked to her in years either. When she died I was filled with sorrow, anger, guilt and regret. How could I have let this happen? I did it to myself and I was angry. I was pregnant with Nathan and I was excited to hear her reaction. I never got it. She died before I called her.
I stood there looking at Aunt B in her casket. She looked very nice. She was wearing a pretty red dress holding a red rose. I couldn't get past the fact that she didn't look like she did 4 years ago. How did I let this happen again? Why didn't I just stop over to say hello? A few minutes out of my day probably would have brightened hers. I know one shouldn't do this to themselves, but I couldn't help it.
Her casket was very pretty. I think she would have approved of it. It was light pink, not gaudy - pretty. It had pictures of pink roses around the front of it here and there. I don't think she would have picked anything else out had it been left up to her. She was a unique individual with a sharp tongue. She once told me that she didn't think I'd ever make much of myself, but she was sure glad that I had. She was that kind of woman.
I stood at her casket with my mother and step father. Tears were streaming down our faces. I can't speak as to what they were thinking, but the thought that came to my mind was the fact that my only living grandparents are of the age of Aunt B. She was, after all, my grandmothers sister. I stood there thinking that the only time I communicate with my grandparents is either through e-mail or a card in the mail. What was my hang-up? Why didn't I call them on the phone and speak with them. I know they'd love to hear from me. I couldn't bear to go though the guilt again.
After the fineral and burial there was a lunch at the apartment building in which Aunt B lived. After lunch, Shannon and I went to Aunt B's apartment and looked through some old photo's. We found this one of my Grandfather. Isn't he handsome? I love this picture. I believe this picture was taken in 1942. No wonder my grandmother snatched him up. He's adorable!

On my way home from the funeral I decided that I wasn't going to let this happen to me again - this guilt. After supper I called my grandparents. It was great to talk to them. I explained the reason for my call and told them that there would be many more to come. They were happy to hear it. When they pass it will be hard. I can't even let myself imagine it, actually. At least when they do I won't have the guilt that's plagued me in the past.
Don't forget to tell the people in your life that you love them. You'll both feel better for it.


Anonymous said...

I hear ya! Grandpa's death was like a wake-up call for grandparents are getting old and everytime I see them might be the last time. I know this is true for anyone...anytime I see my cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. it might be the last time, but one doesn't think like that unless it's "old" people.

We did go see Aunt Ann in June when we were in SD. I am glad we did. She was so happy to see us. I was completely freaked out by how she looked then. Mom hadn't told me how sick she was. She was rail thin and on oxygen. However, she was in good spirits. But I knew I would never see her again. That was rough.

Tess said...

I am sorry to hear you lost a loved one. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

It is unfortunate that we do get pre occupied with our lives. Kerrie, you are not alone in this struggle! Finding that balance is tough. Losing family and friends it tough, we always have what ifs when we are left behind.

Stay strong girl, it will be ok. All we can do better and keep the lines of communication open!

~ Amy ~ said...

SOOOO true Kerrie. All my grandparents are gone now but it still should carry through to siblings and parents, aunts and uncles. Just because they're not as old, doesn't mean they couldn't quickly be taken away.

Amanda said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss but what a great reminder. I've lost touch with so many relatives on my mother's side since she passed - my mom was always so good about making "dates" to go visit with family.

Andrea said...

Gosh, Kerrie. I had goose bumps the whole time I read your post - and still do!

Thanks for the reminder!

Jamie said...

Sorry for you loss. :(

Everyone gets so caught up in everyday lives that people get forgotten. Easy to do when you don't see them everyday.

I love that picture!! It is so neat to see those.

Anonymous said...

I just attended my aunt's funeral yesterday. My cousins and I talked about since the grandparents have died,the only time we see each other anymore is at a funeral or wedding. It is really stupid but we all get caught up in our lives and time slips away.Since mom died, I tell everyone to make sure you talk to the ones you love and tell them that you love them as we never know when they won't be here anymore.

Tracy said...

Your grandpa was indeed handsome. I LOVE old pictures like that!!

All of my grandparents are still alive and you made me think about how many times I am in town and don't see them. It's definately something to think about!

Heidi Jo said...

lovely post kerrie. thanks, it's one that i needed to read too.

by the way, i think you're pretty amazing. just wanted you to know.

Just Mom said...

A beautifully written post with a wonderful message. I like this side of Kerrie Meyer too.

Sorry for your loss.

Jennie Thompson said...

I had those same feelings after my grandparents died. It sucks.

Great photo of a handsome man!

Anonymous said...

I'm agree with Just this side of you. Beautiful post and it makes me so proud to know you....again! (even if it's only through this world of blogging:)

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

Good reminder for all of us Kerrie!

Kate said...

TEARS! so sorry about your Aunt.

Miah™ said...

Sending you my condolences. I too had a great Aunt B.

I have felt the same way, time and time again. If only I had sent that letter, visited longer, etc. We seem to get so busy in our own lives, that we forget about those who are not right in front of us. Its a great reminder Kerrie. I am going to pick up that phone and call a few people in the next few days. Perhaps, I will even mark it on my calander every month, so I don't forget again.

God bless Ker!

Anonymous said...

I miss my grandparents dearly. When dad was out earlier this month we went through my grandpa's stamp collection. It seemed like he just passed away a few months ago - in actuality it has been almost 19 years. My grandma Alice loved to do dot to dot puzzles. She passed away in 2000 and I still find myself looking for dot to dot books for her.


Lori said...

Sorry to hear about the loss of your loved one.
Great reminder to be in touch with our family members.
We did just that this weekend. I have a grandpa whom is very ill and you just never know what will happen.