A little over a year ago, my aunt passed away to cancer. When I heard the news, I was in shock. It was hard imagining what my life would be like without seeing the person I practically grew up with. Til this day I can't seem to face much of that reality. It what I like to call "the sad truth".
I met my aunt, my dad's brothers wife when I was about 5 or 6 years old at my grandmother's house. At first, I was very confused on what was going on, so then my grandmother introduced me to her. I was so shy that I don't even remember what came out of my mouth, but I do remember seeing how beautiful she was. She had long curly black hair with a pink tank top and shorts. It was the first awkward, yet amazing memory of her.
A few months go by and I see her with my uncle, and that is when I realized they were a couple. I was so happy for both of them (because I approved of her). She began to take my brother and I out with her for fun and even took care of us when my parents had to work.
Over the years we grew closer. My aunt became a mother figure to me and a significant part of my life. She was the person I went to for advice, comfort, support and more. We spent so much time together that people thought blood-related us. Quick story: one day we both when at and a young woman comes up to us and starts talk to us, and then suddenly she asked my aunt "is she your daughter?" and my aunt says "No. She's my niece by law." The lady looks confused and says "Interesting. You guys look alike." So my aunt and I just looked at each other like "what the heck does she see in us". But at that moment, I felt like I was a part of her as much as she was a part of me, and even if blood didn't relate us, she felt more like a relative than my blood relatives.
During the last day of 3rd grade, she called my mom and asked her if I can sleep over her and my uncle's house. My mom agreed, so my mom and my aunt came into my room and helped me pack. I was so excited because it was my first "sleepover" ever! So I stayed three days overnight, and we watched movies, went for car rides, got my hair braided and played games. It was such a fun time that I asked my mom if I could stay an extra day. I had so much fun with her that I didn't even want to go home. She made everything so fun that even just the thought of her makes me miss all those times.
As I grew older, I continued to sleep over her house. I would even help her with the chores around the house. We always did everything together, whether it was going to the mall, visiting her relatives, getting food or even talking about serious stuff. Our connection grew stronger as well because I started dealing with personal issues whether it was about boys, college stuff/ academics, sports, you name it. She was my go-to person, so it is weird not having your go-to person around anymore.
I always appreciated her advice and nurturing personality because it felt similar to mine. Not only did she teach me things about myself, but she taught me valuable life lessons and even talked to me about her life and the experiences she has had. Moreso, she inspired me to want more in life and reach my goals. No matter what type of day she was having, she was always there for me and always called or texted me.
Then last year she was taken away.
Losing her felt equivalent to losing a part of me. We became so close, like mother and daughter. So when she passed, it was like my entire world shattered. I never said goodbye or even hugged her. I try not to beat myself up for it because maybe it was for the best. I'm not good at goodbyes nor do I believe in them. She will always be in my heart and mind and I know that in many years down the line I will be reunited with her again in the future, and will be able to give her all the hugs I want. And of course catch up!
Living without someone who's in Heaven is saddening and detrimental to one's mental and emotional health. I was emotionally resistant for months, but I had to force myself to stay strong for her and family. Before she passed she didn't want people to feel bad or cry all the time because she was an overall happy and adventurous person who loved to make people smile, so she didn't want sadness to interfere. But of course it is easier said than done, and we cannot control what we feel.
What hurts the most is that I went from seeing her every day and watching Family Feud right at 6 pm and order food to not seeing her at all. Every single day for two years we saw each other and grew closer than ever because I moved in the apartment below her's. Right after school, I would rant to her about my day, and she would put me at easy by comforting me and telling me it will be okay. Now I can't do that.
The things that became routine things or even traditional no longer feel the same. For example, a few months ago I tried watching Family Feud and I started crying because it just wasn't the same. That was our show. We watched it every single day, and where is the fun in answering the questions by myself? There is none because she is not here anymore. So the things that become a signature component of your everyday life changes when someone who you loved is no longer here to experience it with you.
I can't call her when I miss her; I can't hug her when I'm sad and I can't tell her that I love her when I appreciate her. I can't do the things we used to do when she was here. Everything is just different now, and it is truly devasting.
At times it just doesn't feel real at all. The one person I relied on is no longer with me, and that was the hardest truth I ever had to face.
No feeling can ever describe the feelings one feels when they lose someone so close and so sudden because it cannot simply be put into words. All we can really do is just be grateful for the wonderful memories that will always live within us. And that is all I can do too. I know she is in peace and watches over me. She was always proud of me and I continue to show her that every chance I can even if she isn't physically here to see it.