12 January 2009

Didi, my aunt, my angel

Diane (you'll always be Didi to me!)
16 May 1960 - 09 Jan 2009

This is a very difficult post for me. On the 9th of January 2009, I had to say goodbye for the final time to my beloved aunt. She passed away at 8:45pm after a long battle with cancer, which she very nearly overcame.

Memories of this beautiful woman will be with me forever. She's been in my life pretty much since I was born, and has always, always been there for me when I needed her. My sister and I lived with her for a while when we made the move from JHB to CT, and since then, I've always looked up to her. She was, is, my role model. The beauty this woman had inside her is difficult to voice, and it pains me that she was taken so soon. Her ability to love unconditionally, her compassion, her ability to forgive, everything about her is inspiring. I use present tense as I write this, because she will continue to inspire me throughout my life, as she did before.

I remember her voice clearly, especially her using my full, hyphenated name, which I rarely used, often opting to go by the shorter version. She always addressed my cards to my full name, and only in the past year have I started doing the same. Her laughter will forever ring in my ears, including her unique snort. Her laughter was infectious, I adored it. There were so many things I loved about her, too many things to write down. Even if I could, it saddens me that no one would fully understand just how special she was.

She had many dreams, some of which were mirrored by me. She loved animals, and gave extensively of herself to the benefit of animals in need in whichever way she could. Her kindness is something I wish to keep within myself, and always remember her for it.

Didi, you were taken from me far too soon. I cried so much by your bedside, but I know you are in a better place. Your heart needed to be free, and you are now reunited with those who passed before you. May they hold you close and keep you safe until we meet again. I am thankful for the time we spent together, the wise words you gave me, and the special bond between us. I'm thankful I got to know you properly, adult to adult, and it breaks my heart that you wont be around for my milestones like getting engaged, married, and having kids. I will tell my children about you, though my heart breaks knowing they will never know one of the greatest person I ever had the privilage of sharing a world with.

Didi, you taught me so much, and you will never know how much you will be missed, though I know you'll always be there by my side in spirit. I shall still speak to you, as I always did, and I will treasure my memories of you. You were such an amazing person, and you fought (however stubbornly) to the bitter end. You gave us all a chance to say goodbye, and I can never tell you how grateful I am to have spent those quiet moments alone by your bedside, watching over you. You were so beautiful right up until I left you. I was told you even looked beautiful in death, which I have no trouble believing.

Rest in peace, Didi. Thank you for a lifetime of happiness. I will never, ever forget you and I love you so much more than words can express. I still cant believe you're gone, but you live on inside all of us. Until we meet again...say hi to Brutus, Cleo, and the rest of the gang for me! I know they we're ecstatic to see you!

A special moment between you and Munchkin, that I captured - I'm not sure if you ever got to see this photo...