My aunt died last week.
Truth be told, I don’t really know how to feel about that. Family has always been a weird subject for me. Family to me has always been the four people I grew up with and the one I spawned. My father came from a large family with many siblings, so I have tons of aunts, uncles, and cousins. But I don’t really know any of them. I mostly feel for my father, who despite being one of the first to visit her in the hospital, was left off the approved visitor list on her last day. And then indirectly scolded in a Facebook post by one of my cousins. He was ready to write them off because he felt he’d been written off. But then my uncle went into the hospital after suffering a mini heart attack and Dad had a change of heart, because he always comes through for his family, even if they don’t do the same for him. I guess that’s where I get it from. The difference is that my family circle is much tighter because I didn’t grow up with any expectations of my extended family.
And though I didn’t see her often, she was always present. I could always count on a social media reaction for every meme shared and a comment on every picture I posted. She came up in conversation every time we cooked out. She was not this happy jolly friendly picture that’s being painted of her, as happens when most people die. She was not that. But she was honest and real, and you could count on her not to be one way to your face and then talk shit behind your back.
I will miss her.