Trying to Get Back To My Happy Place

These last few weeks have been a struggle. I have been dealing with what would be identified as extreme circumstances in anyone’s book.

I lost my last paternal aunt in my family. It was a deep emotional loss. Because of my aunt, my brothers and I, as children,  stayed connected to my biological father’s family.
Because of my aunt, my paternal grandparents were a huge influence in my life.
Because of my aunt, I grew up learning about and participating in my Jewish culture.
Because of my aunt, my children were exposed to wonderful art programs as children.
Because of my aunt, I experienced art museums and a developed a love of art.
Because of my aunt, I am the person I am today.

Her funeral was outside with only 5 of us and the Cantor. We all spoke about our love for her and our appreciation for having her in our lives. We tore the black kriah ribbon representing our loss. We shoveled the dirt onto the beautiful pine casket engraved with a Star Of David. We sang the prayers along with the Cantor. I was given the yahrzeit candle. These all felt so right to me. But, leaving the funeral without hugs was very difficult. No gathering after also felt so very wrong. My heart was breaking for so many reasons.

Then on Monday, I was informed that my biological father had passed away. To say that we were estranged, would be the understatement of the century. I have seen him 3 times in the past thirty years. Two of those occasions were my niece and nephews Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. We did not speak. He came up to my daughters individually and told them he was their grandfather. Being the articulate young twenty somethings, they both said that he was not as he had never met them or known them. I mourned the “what could have been” many years ago in therapy. I was sad for my brother, because he lost a parent who cared about him. I lost nothing. I have zero fond memories of that man. He never knew me, never knew my daughters, and didn’t even know of the existence of my grandchildren, his only great-grandchildren. To write it all off as I wasn’t a son, obviously, would be giving him too much credit. He did so many “wrong things” that to me were unforgivable. He had no positive influence on who I am. Monday, I processed his passing. Mainly, I was missing my mom and wondering why G-d took her five years ago and allowed him to still be here. I can honestly say, that Tuesday, I woke up and had no feelings of loss at all for him.

I am still mourning my aunt. I am still mourning the loss of my uncle 4 years ago. I am still mourning my mom’s passing 5 years ago.  Death and loss of the physical being is very different for every one. 

A dear sweet friend said something that touched my heart today. She said isn’t it wonderful that we have so many good memories with our grandchildren? She was encouraging about the fact that we still will have time to make more sweet memories that they can hold in their heart.

I had  my second vaccine today. I am fine and so far, no reactions. That is for another post though. I wanted to dip my toe back in the blogging pond.

26 thoughts on “Trying to Get Back To My Happy Place

  1. So very sorry your loss’s good you have so many lovely memories of her
    Aunts are hard to lose, I have lost quite a few over the years
    I still have my parents though and I’m almost 63 very blessed

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  2. I’m sorry for your loss. I think whether somebody is a good person comes into things more than familial closeness.
    My wife was thirty years not seeing her father, there were no tears when he died. In fact, I was relieved, because I had visions of the guy turning up out of the blue one day, when I knew my wife had no interest in any kind of a relationship with him.

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  3. I am so very sorry to hear your sad news …My mother is still here (90) bless her …I hope in time you find peace Lauren and remember all the happy times with the ones you loved and lost …Take care x I am pleased you have had both doses of the vaccine with no ill effects …

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  4. I’ve missed seeing your posts Lauren, but understood following the loss of your aunt. I am sorry for the loss of your father, but again can understand your feelings in that quarter.
    Thoughts are with you.

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  5. Lauren, I hope writing about the events of the last couple of weeks has helped you. I know it has been a rollercoaster of emotions. As you and I talked, experiencing loss, no matter the circumstances, is still a grieving process. Be easy on yourself. I am so thankful you were able to get both your shots, and I hope you do not have any side effects. This is a big step toward finding some sort of pseudo-normal during a very chaotic time. Much love to you, my friend.

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  6. I’ve missed your posts Lauren, your voice, your presence. I suppose this is what you miss about your beloved Aunt, she left good memories, something to hold onto as she is no longer available in the physical sense. I understand grief, both my parents have passed, but I was lucky, their legacy was one of love and devotion to me and my sister. Holding you in my thoughts and prayers, may all be well with you as you pass through the stages of grief, and with time find peace, C

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  7. Family! Lauren it’s a minefield. I know you are reeling from the loss of your Aunt…just let everything else wash over you for now. We are glad to have you back, you have been missed.💜

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