It’s a public holiday today in the UK and we’re out for the day with the family, so this post is scheduled and I’ll answer any comments tomorrow.

This week the topic is:

We’ve all experienced loss.  What is a loss that has really struck you? Compare losing someone you knew with someone you didn’t, and your thoughts on how it affected you.

It’s a sad fact of life that the older you get, the more of your loved ones pass away.  Many of my relatives are now partying on the ‘other side’, but the loss I’ve felt most keenly was when my aunt June died back in 2012.

Aunt June was one of those big-hearted people.  Large in stature, she was free with her cuddles and kisses.  She had a knack of making all those around her, including me, feel valued and loved.   She was the only one throughout my childhood who told me that she loved me.  She wasn’t academically inclined, but very practical with her hands and had oodles of common sense.

Mum and Dad used to send me to stay with Aunt June and Uncle Stan for a week or two every school summer holiday.  I looked forward to those times with much excitement as a child.  She would take my cousins and I to the cinema, or swimming (she was an excellent swimmer), or just sit down with us and play cards or make glitter pictures.  She would put my hair in ringlets, and run up some dresses for me on her sewing machine to take back home. As I grew up I visited her most Sundays with Mum and Dad.  I loved her and her house!

As an adult we didn’t live so close, but I chatted and giggled on the phone with her at least once a week.   Towards the end of 2011 the phone calls trailed off, and the ones I did get were not the same.  She wasn’t happy, which was not like her.  She told me she didn’t feel well, couldn’t eat, and had constant diarrhoea and a bloated abdomen.  She didn’t want me to visit.

The next phone call I received was in March 2012 from her daughter, my cousin, who informed me that my aunt had been diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer and did not have too long to live.  She was now bedridden and was asking to see me.  I went and took her some roses and held her hand. She had shrunk to about 5 stone in weight and had lost all her hair due to chemotherapy.  It wasn’t my aunt June, but yet it was. She smiled and squeezed my fingers and told me how she loved me and that the roses were beautiful.  I told her I loved her too as she fell in and out of sleep.

Later after her death, I visited a medium who made contact with June straight away.  June mentioned the lovely roses, and told me that I had to write all those books I’d thought about writing for so long.  I started on the first one a month later.

I think about June every day.  Uncle Stan died in 2017.  I will never be able to drive past their house again, which has now been sold.

Compare this death to that of my maternal grandfather back in 1969.  I was then 12 years old and he had made only two appearances in my life, on one of them I remember him saying that he was going to force me to eat something  I didn’t like.  When he died I felt quite relieved.

So readers, it’s true what they say…you are remembered by the way you make people feel!

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