Friday, March 21, 2014

The Weight

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…


  1. As cheesy as it sounds, I often feel that if we have been a witness to a loved one's strength in the final moments of their life (whether that be a day, week, month or years), we somehow absorb a bit of that strength after they leave us. And while strength doesn't ease the pain, it does remind us that we will one day feel more complete than we do right now because we have that piece of them with us at all times. I'm glad you are talking about the loss of your aunt. Surely it isn't easy, but it hopefully helps.

  2. Thinking of you--what a difficult time you've been through. Your strength is an inspiration to many and especially to your daughter.

  3. I am so sorry to hear of your loss for your aunt.


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