The family was called last Sunday to say she would not last the night. When I talked to Grandma that Wednesday, she told me that Auntie was still hanging on though there seemed no reason for it. Actually, Grandma's words were "She just won't die!"
I talked to Grandma again today after Auntie passed away. There was relief that Auntie wouldn't suffer any longer, and there was sadness because she was Grandma's sister. As much as sickness and old age make death a more reasonable and expected affair, there is still that relationship that makes time disappear.
They were sisters. Sharing a room, playing outside, gossiping and giggling sisters. There were 5 sisters in the family -- the four youngest were close as can be. Now one of that tight group is gone and there is a knowledge that the rest are not far behind.
Bea (Grandma), Jean, Philby, Edith, & Margarette -- 1976
Someday, that will be us. Someday, we will call our children and grandchildren to say our sister is gone. Then, we'll forget we told anyone and call 15 minutes later to share the news for the second first time. Someday, our childhood closeness will be separated by sickness and death. We will be thankful for our time together and sad for our loss, but there will be more than that. The special relationship that is between sisters will be lost. And, because we're old, our grief will be lessened than if it were now.
Someday, I hope to be able to say of my sisters, "They just won't die!"