I’m spending a quiet Samhain this year. For our family, death is too close.
This past weekend, the kids went with their dad down to Delaware to visit their great aunt, who went into hospice care last week with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. It was a mixed occasion, acknowledging the passing of a truly kind and loving person but also getting to celebrate the family that she leaves behind. I didn’t go, just because they didn’t need to be dealing with weird vibes of a former family member while dealing with their own grief. Instead I stayed home and knit, waiting for the kids to get home in case they needed their mom. They were fine, of course, but still I worried. I didn’t have to deal with my first family death in any kind of personal way until I was in grad school. My grandmother passed when I was in high school, but she was a thousand miles away and I didn’t get to go to the funeral, so it wasn’t until my grandfather died that I had to truly face it.
I know there are more funerals coming, though. For a family the size of my extended family, we have had relatively few passages. But health and age are creeping up on all of us. I try to be calm in the face of our mortality, but some days it’s harder than others.
Sal passed into the Summerland yesterday morning, surrounded by her family and knowing she was loved. That’s about the kindest death can be.