The Introvert and the Funeral

Today, we buried my aunt. She passed away a week ago after a battle with pancreatic cancer. I have nothing but good things to say about my aunt. My mom is significantly older that her brothers and sisters. I entered my teen years when she met and married my uncle-in-law. As soon as they were married, they moved across the country when my uncle entered the dental program with the U.S. Military.

I was in high school when they had their first of two daughters. They moved back to the West Coast and took residence in Barstow, CA. Needless to say, I would only connect with my aunt at family events and holidays. As the introvert would say, we had a casual respectful relationship.

The clock counts down on my life, revealing the names and images of the people in my life, I should know better. The nagging guilt that you missed out on knowing a wonderful person and explicit guilt that I could have taken the initiative. Thanks universe.

The sphere of those who pass is growing closer and closer to me. My aunt is the first person to pass that I had known, spoken, shared life stories and knew would be around at the next family function. I always thought, I’d see her at the next holiday, which would have been Christmas. My family is supposed to live forever. My grandparents (on my mother’s side) both lived into their 90’s. We are work horses. As I approach my 50’s, I know I need to take better care of myself.

As I sit here at Forest Lawn, I think about my aunt. I also think about my family. At this very moment in time, I’ve given into my introverted tendencies. I talk very little to anyone. Be available and show no affection to anyone. I’m a ghost that everyone sees. My invisibility powers aren’t working right now. Now my apprehension levels rise and self-consciousness kicks into overdrive. I don’t want to be here, but at the same time, I want to be here for my aunt.

Next week is the memorial at my old church. My aunt will be rightfully honored. For me, I will have to manage the guilt, I feel learning about the aunt I wish I knew better.