Tuesday, August 17, 2004

20 aunt's death,

08-17-04 Mayatime: 11 Eb 15 Yaxkin

This is a fair-well to Aunt Bert (on the left, with me and my mom) (and yes, I spelled farewell wrong on purpose) who died today at age 86. If you have not been keeping up with this blog, I dedicated most of entry 12 to her. I guess I knew it was coming.

I was leaving work today (telemarketing) at 4:30 when Will called me (with our newly manifested FREE cell phones) and he really had to talk to me. So I cut the work-related conversation with my boss short and left to talk to him.

Seems Aunt Bert had pneumonia on Saturday night and was brought to the hospital. She’s also got congestive heart failure from a few years ago, and of course whatever form of dementia she possessed. (I guess it will never be diagnosed now; doubtful they’ll do an autopsy.) Her daughter and son-in-law are in California visiting their daughter W (the one I don’t call cousin), leaving my cousin alone to deal with his regularly scheduled life and this very sick old woman (who lived in the house next door, alone). He did not call me on Saturday because he said the doctors said it was no big deal and she’d come home on Monday or Tuesday (today).I guess she apparently died a few times (heart failure) and they resuscitated her, because Aunt Bert's daughter isn’t around to give the DNR order and he didn’t want to screw up. That was upsetting to me because I don’t think a person that old and sick should be forced to live. My cousin agrees, but knows if he gave a DNR order and she died, his mother would be pissed at him.

Meanwhile his parents were off to the Grand Canyon and neither my cousin nor his sister could reach them (no cell phone; they’re deaf) so they had no idea Aunt Bert was even in the hospital.He got a call shortly after 4 p.m. today from the hospital. He expected it to be the doctor saying she was okay and to come get her. Instead they said she had never woken up all day, and they couldn’t wake her. That was when he told my husband, who called me.Since I had to go pick up my husband at work anyway, I got to talk to my cousin for a while and got the details. I gave him my cell number because I figured she would probably die in the next few days.

Will and I picked up my no-longer-ill Pathfinder (for a quite reasonable fee, the A/C, dashboard light and several strange noises were all fixed, plus an oil change) and then went to dinner and to see Alien Vs Predator. Because I am a kind & thoughtful moviegoer (not like the idiots who had to be taken out by the cops), I put my phone onto silent, and missed all of my cousin’s calls. We got home just now at 9:30 (it’s 10:15 as I write) & saw all the missed calls and the hang-ups on the answering machine and I knew. She was dead.

Will called work; my cousin had left; we reached him at home and confirmed what I already knew in my heart. And in the meantime his sister had reached his parents and they were trying to get an emergency bereavement flight home–a tough enough thing, but worse for people who are deaf and have problems communicating. I had to call my parents, and of course my dad answered the phone. Aunt Bert raised him, she’s like a mom to him. I had called at 5:00 to tell them she was in the hospital so they weren’t surprised. But I know he’s sad and I hate it that he has to be sad when he himself has so little time left to know what’s going on (relatively speaking; I know he has years, but not what he SHOULD have at his age).She died peacefully in her sleep, never waking up today at all. She’s with the angels now. She knows what’s on the other side of the veil. Welcome home, Aunt Bert. (692)

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