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My Aunt

This has been the best year of my life. This has been the hardest year of my life.

I had the worst bought of insomnia of my entire life last night. I did not fall alseep until sometime after 6:00 am. I woke up just after noon hour, minutes before my brother showed up with the news that my aunt, my mother's sister, the only relative on my maternal side (my only family) that I had a relationship with, died in her sleep last night.

I knew this was coming. In fact when my brother showed up I knew what he was going to say. I just knew. She had lots of health problems. The women of my maternal side are tough bitches with weak constitutions -- I'm not exempt from that.

My aunt and I had our differences -- mainly about my mother who I do not speak to. Disassociating from your mother, regardless of the situation, is unforgiveable in many cultures.

I always felt a connection to my aunt. Now that I'm older I see her flaws, and I disagree with some of her perspectives on life, but I have always admired her. She left Barbadoes all on her own, with no support system at age 25 and came to Canada in order to make a life for herself. Her stories about being one of few black people in Ottawa at the time are fascinating. She took care of herself, she made a lot of good choices. But you can't really escape pain by shifting locations. My instinct has always been that she carried hers deep inside and it weighed her down. She was my connection to my past and my family's past. I asked her lots of questions and she answered although there was one time when I saw that it was painful for her. That was the first time I really started to get it.

I don't know what I'm going to do.

I'll miss her.





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