>Auntie Nellie

>My Great Aunt died last week. She was 97 – a good innings as they say. I hadn’t seen her in many many years and I can’t say I knew her well.

I have a few very fond and quite special memories of her. Not many memories, but ones which I have enjoyed sharing with others these last few days. I would say that she definitely touched my life and although I rarely saw her or spent much in the way of time with her I have learnt from her. We talked about her a little the day of and a few days after my Gran’s funeral (she was married to Gran’s brother) but I can’t say other than that I’d given her much more than a passing thought for some time.

I said last week to a couple of people that I thought going on the JST trip had helped me to feel less guilt. Well, not today. Today I feel guilty. I am trying to rationalise the fact that I didn’t really know her into thinking sensibly and remembering that those we love do not leave us as long as they are remembered.

Her children and grandchildren knew her better than I did, can remember her face while I cannot clearly. But I got to see things and be there for things that they did not and that helps her memory to live on in a way it otherwise wouldn’t.

I’m also trying to remember that my Gran and Grandad live on in their memories too. They didn’t know them as well as we did but they knew them in a different way. And just as the parts of them that were Mum and Dad, Gran and Grandad were a very important part of them so was their role as Kelly and Barney’s Auntie Jean and Uncle Henry

I will miss Auntie Nellie but the fact I didn’t know her well and hadn’t seen her for years doesn’t matter – the fact I knew her and I remember is all that does.

Requiescat in Pace whilst you live on in our memories Auntie Nellie – Thank you for teaching me and for being who you were/ARE.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am 1,000 winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sun on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn rain
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled light
I am the soft star that shines at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there; I did not die

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