I can’t remember her not being there. I’ve known her all my life. She was… so strange to use that tense … it must not be true. Why should I have to count you among the precious treasures lost in the year that was 2020? Grief comes in waves and I suppose my thoughts of you today beckoned this tumult over my soul.
Aunt Novlyn was my mother’s best friend and at some point was also her sister in law. I simply called her Anty. In Jamaican parlance, we would tease them as “bench and batty” in other words inseparable. Few people could engage my mom in long conversation without her recoiling to her introverted shell. Anty could. Let’s not get into the shopping expeditions, the baking and cooking marathons or the vacation trips they did together. They were sisters-in-love; sisters by choice.
She was present at every one of my major life events that I can remember except one. She would say “niecey, you alright? We have to be grateful for another day.” I would respond, “Yes Anty, I’m okay.” Only now, with this, I am not okay. My mom is sad and I didn’t get to say goodbye. Regret is grief’s worse enemy. I hadn’t told you I love you in a while. I hadn’t shared how happy I was with how you looked after mom since I’ve been away, since always really. I hadn’t told you that your friendship was a goal for me; 4 decades, 4 children, 3 marriages, divorce and widowhood. Your relationship stood the test of time and I admired it. I suppose I assumed you would be here longer. I didn’t realize you were so ill but it is my fault that I hadn’t checked in. I didn’t tell you how I appreciated every sumptuous meal, every scavenger hunt to the stores in town to get what I needed and your words of encouragement when I became a widow because you had been on that road before. You understood my pain and you gave me hope. My Anty, I will never forget.
Loss and pain is a difficult part of the human experience. You can expect it but nothing quite prepares you for it. Emotional resilience is not achieved by ignoring how you feel. It is acknowledging, embracing and releasing the pain when it subsides. Emotional resilience is an adaptation within your being. It is the building of emotional muscles to lift the heavy weight of pain, grief and suffering. Fortunately, we need not suffer alone. The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain, and he is always ready to restore the repentant one. Psalms 34:18 TPT.
Write Fully Yours,
PS. I want to pray for those of my readers grieving or hurting. Message me in the comments or send me an email.
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