Good-bye Dear Tante H: Rest in Peace


After months of hospital and then nursing home visits my sweet aunt passed away early this morning. She outlived her sister and my mother by 22 years. The matriarchs in my family are now all gone. My father’s only sister also passed away earlier this year.

My sisters, me and our Mom.

My sisters, me and our Mom.

My Tante H was a beautiful and independent soul. She moved to this country 32 years ago, shortly after the death of her husband. Like her mother before her she had no interest in finding a new man. She continued to raise her two teenaged children, as a single mom,  in a new land and lived off the proceeds of her husband’s company. Her son eventually married and made her a grandmother to two girls and one boy. Her daughter is currently single but blessed her mother with a grand-dog.

My Tante H and my two cousins as toddlers.

My Tante H and my two cousins as toddlers.

My gorgeous aunt and her husband, my Uncle G.

My gorgeous aunt and her husband, my Uncle G.

The last four months have been difficult but in a way I got to know another side of my aunt. During our visits she answered numerous questions I had about my family’s past but I think that there are many more secrets that have gone to the grave with her. It also gave me an opportunity to reconnect with my cousin. She lives in another city about 45 minutes away (on a good day). We’ve probably seen more of each other in the last four months than we have in our entire lives.

The entire experience has made me appreciate my own immediate family more. Don’t put off tomorrow what can be done today. Pick up the phone and call your loved ones. Answer that email that’s been sitting in your inbox. Take some time to visit an elderly relative. Tomorrow may be too late.

My 88 year old Dad and me.

My 88 year old Dad and me. He’s still going strong.

Peace and love

Carol (aka Mama Cormier)

6 thoughts on “Good-bye Dear Tante H: Rest in Peace

  1. Carol, my condolences. After prolonged decline that you allude to I would imagine there is both relief and sadness.
    I can see the family resemblance – just throw a fur stole around your shoulders and the resemblance is even greater.
    A lovely post and a lovely tribute to your Tante.

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  2. My condolences on the passing of your aunt. What you say is so true – one never knows when the people we love may leave us and it is always important to keep that contact with them.

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  3. How true, Carol. My cousin died ten days ago and her funeral was last Saturday. In recent years it seems to have been mainly at funerals that we’ve seen one another, though we kept in touch by email. She didn’t tell me of her illness or of her partner’s motor neurone diagnosis. Email is not a natural way of conveying devastating news. Luckily another cousin’s daughter told me, and at least I was able to make and send her a card to let her know we were thinking of her.

    There always remain questions we never asked, and a little bit of our roots dies with these relatives.

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  4. How true about seeing people at funerals. My aunt’s memorial gathering was today and family and friends that I hadn’t seen in years were there. It was nice seeing them but I wish we could meet under happier circumstances.

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