The Weight by The Band was my Aunt’s all time favourite song. It held significant meaning for her. The night that she broke down, she listened to this song over & over again & by morning she admitted she needed help & was admitted to the nut house, as she called it. I have always felt this was extremely brave of her. To admit she needed help, to reach out.
I have been grieving her loss deeply. It feels like a healthy grief, not excessive…it’s not a dark ugly grief. I know that kind of grief; I experienced that when my Dad died. I’m talking about it…I’m reaching out…I’m processing. It’s a long road for sure. As my friend wisely pointed out, you don’t lose someone all at once, you lose them in pieces over time. I know from experience that the hurt lessens. Right now it’s right there, just under the surface. The hard part is I also know from experience that I won’t ever miss her less.
The time spent caring for my Aunt, & the time since her death, has been the single greatest external parenting challenge I’ve had to face so far…at first balancing my time between my Aunt’s needs & Elena’s & now balancing my need to be alone with Elena’s need for me to be present with her. It has also been a challenge navigating how to explain this all to a 3 year old.
Of course I have spent a lot of time evaluating & reevaluating my life. Through this all, I have gained a strength I didn’t have before. I have found confidence through having faced this hard time & come out the other side…scarred yes, but also tougher, stronger. I have learned valuable lessons about priorities & limits.
I have learned when to carry the load, how heavy a load I can bear…& when I need to take a load off…