When someone dies there is an insane amount of stuff to do. I'm not sure if that's by design to keep the grieving busy, plugged into the "business" of life, but it's true. There are people to call, there are things to sign. There are documents to review. There are more people to call.
It's about a year and a half since both of my parents died and I still have those moments when I realize I never contacted person X. I also don't know how to get ahold of person X, if they're living, where they are now etc, yet at some point they were a significant part of one or both of my parent's lives and it pains me a little not to have been able to share with them that they died. Sometimes it's simpler, sometimes it's just that in the overwhelming moments after their deaths, I forgot.
It was a lapse like that last week that caused me to find out that one of my beloved aunties died via Facebook. Settling into the category of "where was I when I heard" is now the moment that I was sipping coffee in my kitchen and scrolling through Facebook when I saw it. A condolence to one Aunt regarding the other.
Aunt Debbie had died. A frantic phone call to my SIL who had only just recently heard also confirmed the worst.
So north we had to go, once again making the trip out of grief.
I have a short list of people who have known me longer than my memory extends. I don't mean random family who have known of me, rather I mean truly know me. Losing these people is a bit like losing some of my self, losing some of my history - the bits I don't recall. They know stories I don't know and once they are gone those stories are lost forever. The number of times I realize I need my mom to tell me something or remind of the details of something are legion - and growing.
That's probably the fairytale of being adult - you think you could've changed fate "if only".
Post Script: Julia spent a lot of time trying to decide what to wear to the funeral and settled on this.
While it wasn't what she actually wore, I feel like Aunt Debbie would have truly appreciated the spirit in which this plan was made.