Last week I was at church for a rosary for a person who died. I did not know her, but I knew her father from some church activities. The next morning I went to a funeral for my family's hairdresser's son. I did not know him either, but I knew his parents.
On Saturday night my parents and I had dinner with a former teacher of mine and his wife. Early Sunday morning I drove my dad to the airport. He was flying to New York because his aunt had a stroke and was near death. She cannot eat or drink and has previously specified that no extraordinary measures be taken to prolong her life. Monday night I learned the father of one of the people I had dinner with on Saturday was dead. He died suddenly and unexpectedly from a traumatic fall earlier that day.
The only one of these people I ever met was my great aunt. She is my dad's favorite aunt. I remember having a couple of family gatherings for Christmas and Thanksgiving at her house. After her, my grandma will be the only one of nine children still alive.
When I was in New York in December I went with my dad to visit my great aunt. She was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's and had some brain damage from an earlier stoke. I did not know what to do other than sit there, hold her hand, smile, and answer any questions she asked. I was her birthday so I wished her well.
I was wondering if my presence there meant anything to her. Then I said something that made her laugh.
My great aunt died earlier this morning.