Almost 3 years ago, I lost my aunt, who truly was more like a sister, and someone whom I loved immensely. Her death was sudden and it completely turned my world upside down. Until that point, I don’t think I comprehended the meaning of one’s world being shaken, but I quickly learned. I found myself slipping into a deep depression, and I began to question God. I couldn’t understand how she could be snatched away so suddenly, it didn’t seem fair at all. I was looking for answers, and was unsure that I would find them.

It took about 6 months before I felt the fog begin to lift, and my husband helped me get through that dark time. During that time, instead of questioning God, I began to lean on Him heavily. He was someone that I could talk to and express all of the pain that I was feeling without shame. I realized that I was blessed to have her in my life for 29 years, and that we would one day be reunited in heaven. Even now, when I think of my aunt, I’m comforted by the good times that we shared.

Up until that point, grief had been something that I had rarely experienced, and I realize how blessed I was in that regard. There had been deaths in my family when I was younger, and while I was saddened by the losses, it had never hit as close to home as it did with my aunt. She really was the glue that kept our immediate family together. After she passed away, things were not the same. Her absence opened up fissures in the family fabric, which felt almost impossible to repair. It’s ironic that it took another death to begin repairing the strained relationships.

My grandmother passed away on January 24, 2017, after a long battle with cancer. In the 6 months prior to her death, she knew that she was dying and began working on getting her affairs in order, as well as openly expressing her wishes for her family to mend fences. With her passing, hearts are beginning to thaw, and communication is slowly starting. In my heart, I know that she would be pleased that most of us are attempting to honor her wishes.

Sometimes things must fall apart in order to come together.

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