Sunday, December 2, 2012
I never really knew much about her except that she was an aunt, somewhat. By affinity anyway.
Her full name didn't even roll off my tongue as smoothly as did her nickname which, without question, is what I recognize all of these 40-plus years that I "knew" her and of her. There are about two other Barbaras I know and none of them I claim to know as much as I did aunt-by-affinity Barbara. She'd always been nice to us. To me, at least, she was, in the rare times that I'd encounter her when she'd drop in on birthday parties in our growing-up years.
Anyway then there's something about certain places such as funeral parlors that I can't get a proper grip on especially as an adult in the many times that I needed to be in one for visitations. It was either the location – which among those on the avenue they're lined up did they say it was? – or the right room they call chapel, the last physical private chamber one finds oneself in between life and the lifeless before the final parting that I end up fumbling.
I do so always get these wrong, as what happened last night to visit this late "aunt" Barbara whose full name I at least finally got right when inquired who it was I was at the funeral parlor for. It was for directions to "Chapel 7" I asked the guard-on-duty and was given the run on. Turns out it was "Chapel F" that matched the name. I knew I'd miss that again, as the guards probably knew those happen every time. As people, we make mistakes, one more often than others.
There's consolation in the thought that death means liberation from those that bind us, to loneliness, regrets or shortcomings – of ours and others'.
Barbara seems to have not lived her last years as she would have dreamt of. We always dream of a life of fulfillment, do we not? It's not always that we aim for comfort but simple things like meaningful conversations or that we – they – are looked after thoughtfully are what makes their sunset days worth every minute of our living.
I at least now know she went with more relatives-by-affinity being around who cared enough to see she was given decent moments she deserved. Every soul deserves decent moments no matter how much of a stranger we all are to each other and Barbara was no exception. She was given that as she will be having it in the coming hours of her last earthly moments, before she is finally laid to rest.
And it isn't that one is finally laid to rest. Passages are when one like her can finally claim real peace in the true sense of the word.