Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

It’s not goodbye

75 Comments

I’ve been thinking about the best way to share this, some eloquent words that capture the loss our family experienced this week. But there is no easy way.

My last post, Wordless Wednesday is an image I captured in May when my aunt and I were walking through Hudson Mills Park. She was looking for dogwood and trillium. I was trying to capture as much of the experience as she’d let me.

Which means most of my images were taken from behind.

We walked slower this spring than we had the year before, took the shorter trails, gauged whether a hill was too steep or manageable. We stopped to rest on convenient benches more often. There was, after all, no hurry. In fact there was more savoring the moments because we both knew it was our last spring together.

She’d been diagnosed with a terminal cancer and she had chosen not to take any treatment. They told her she’d have a good summer, and, right on schedule, she did.

My sister and brother came up, then my sister came up two more times. We visited her as often as we could. We attended her last symphony, brought her simple suppers rather than expecting the elaborate meals she has made for us our entire lifetimes. We swam with her at her community pool, walked in her beloved Mathi gardens and the University of Michigan Arboretum.

On our last visit, she sat in a wheelchair, pulling sheets of music for my sister and me to play, music she had written when her children were small. She sang along. We played music until she seemed tired, and then we talked just a bit. “Say Hi to Dad,” my sister said, “He’ll surely be waiting for you.”

It was a gift, she said, that she had these past months to spend with her children, with us, with her friends. And so that she could plan and arrange to make things as easy as possible for her family to carry on without her.

We all cried a bit, and then had a long, last hug.

This past Monday morning she left us to say hi to her brother, my dad, and to her husband, her mother, my mother, and so many other family members who had gone on ahead. And on Saturday we all said “see you later” at the most beautiful funeral I’ve ever attended.

She had, of course, planned it all, including her own words to all of us, the hymns to be sung, the prelude and postlude played by the incredible pianist, and the bagpipes played by my sister.

The time she spent with us was our gift as well. She was a gift to all of us, her family, her friends, musicians in her beloved symphony, her neighbors, the students she taught, the community band in which she played.

I can’t be sad, though I will miss her so much; she had a wonderful and joyous homecoming on Monday morning. And, as someone said at the funeral, she’s probably up there organizing heaven right now.

Thanks for all the good times, good meals, good conversation and good company, Aunt Becky. I’ll see you on down the road.

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

75 thoughts on “It’s not goodbye

  1. So sorry for your loss ❤️

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  2. So very sorry, but what a beautiful tribute to a much-loved aunt.

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  3. So sorry for your loss, but how wonderful the air around her passing was filled with so much love.

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  4. I’m sorry for your loss. Aunt Becky was an amazing woman! You can’t think of her without smiling! And yes, heaven is going to be totally in order when we get there, because Aunt Becky is exactly the person to do that! It’s good that she got to carry the greetings to your Dad.

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  5. Too many losses, Dawn. God bless your aunt. She truly did it her way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You have beautifully expressed your love for your aunt. I am sorry for your loss.

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  7. I agree with Lois: too many losses for you these past couple years. Dignity and gratitude, that is what your aunt has embodied this Summer. And courage, lots of courage. Hugs to you.

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  8. So sorry for your loss! You did a beautiful tribute to her. I can tell she was much loved!

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  9. It soundslike your aunt was an incredible person. Beautiful tribute!

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss Dawn, but what a gift to have spent the time together through these past months. Beautiful photos. sending hugs to you❤

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  11. She sounds like an amazing woman. My sympathy to you and your family.

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  12. So sorry for your loss; beautiful tribute 💕

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  13. A tear is in my eye too, Dawn. Nothing could be finer. A Piper to pipe her home.

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  14. you made a wonderful memory together that day… hugs to you and our deepest sympathy to you

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  15. I’m so sorry for your loss, Dawn. This is such a beautiful tribute with beautiful images. So much music in your life. Hugs and love to you.

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  16. Aw, Dawn, what a beautiful post. I was sad to read of the loss of such a wonderful person in your life. At the same time her approach to death and readiness to embrace it was inspiring. I’m glad you spent precious time with her as she accepted the course her end of life was taking. Hugs to you 🤗

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  17. Time to say “I love you” and “Goodby” is indeed a priceless gift. Very glad you had that.

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  18. It’s been a tough year all around ….sending hugs

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  19. Sorry for your lose Dawn,I was so happy to get to know her and spend time with her.

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  20. Beautiful Tribute Dawn.

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  21. Beautiful ending

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  22. See what a talented photographer you are?? I recognized the sadness/poignancy in the photo of her on the bench when you first posted it. I’m so sorry for your loss, Dawn. Your Aunt Becky sounds like an amazing role-model. I’ll bet she had a fantastic Homecoming. The bagpipes do me in … every single time. Sigh.

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  23. So sorry for your loss. That is a gift to be able to say farewell like that, both my parents died before we could get home, so many things left unsaid.

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  24. i am thanking you for sharing this wonderful relationship you have with your aunt. you both are truly inspiring and your love shines out for all to share.

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  25. She was so lucky to be part of your family, especially you and Beth made her feel loved and important. Nothing better.

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  26. I’m so sorry for your loss… sending hugs!

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  27. What a beautiful post. Truly beautiful. I am so sorry for your loss and so glad that you were able to spend some really great time with her. What a blessing you were to her and she to you. Thank you for sharing her with us.

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  28. This is such a beautiful post, Dawn. I know you will miss her for she seemed such a lovely sort. You cannot be sad as she lived her death on her own terms. And you were witness to much of it. Hugs.

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  29. Dawn, I am so sorry for your family’s loss. l know you all will miss your Aunt Becky dearly. I admire her for deciding to live her final days on her own terms. May you all find comfort in the wonderful memories that were made over the years; especially those made this past Spring and Summer. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers – sending you hugs.

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  30. I am sorry for your loss but I am grateful yall had so many good times together.

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  31. Sorry for your loss, but happy that you were able to spend time with her at the end.

    I never met her, but know I would like her – I mean, how can you not love someone who wears a hat like that?

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    • Yes you would have liked her. She was interested in EVERYTHING. She taught at a community college, had her PhD in child psychology. She loved everything music, all art, good cooking, bike riding, and swimming. And her family.

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  32. My sympathy to you and all who loved your Aunt Becky! You captured her beautiful soul in your photos!

    Liked by 1 person

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