family grief love

4 months ago…part 2… dedicated to my aunt Anna…

 

LESSON 6 and the most important one: ENJOY EVERY MOMENT, YOU NEVER KNOW IF IT WILL BE YOUR LAST ONE. IF YOU DIE TOMORROW, AT LEAST YOU’LL DIE HAPPY!

17th of October, 2015… A day I will never forget…

My ex drove me to the airport on that Saturday morning. We were both lost in our own thoughts and worries… It was one of the longest drives ever but I tried to follow my own advice… take a day at a time and focus on the present (which is easier said than done, I know).

Throughout the 4.5 hour flight I tried to mentally prepare myself of what was I about to face. The plan was to drive straight from the airport to the hospital at 9pm as my beloved aunt’s life was hanging by a thread…She smiled when they told her I was going…I really wanted to see her before she died…

My cousin warned me that what I was going to see wasn’t pretty, my aunt wasn’t breathing on her own, she couldn’t talk, only blink and sigh, her body started to melt, she was full of jaundice…  But for me she was still my aunt and I wanted to see her and tell her that I’m there and that I love her…

I kept thinking how difficult life she had. Back in 1974, during the Turkish invasion in Cyprus she was captured by the Turks, when she was only 15 years old, and luckily a kind-hearted officer dressed her up as an old lady so she doesn’t get raped and helped her escape.

She was intelligent, loved reading, she was one the best students in her class and she got a place at a Greek university to study French. But just before she was about to go, she met the man she loved until her last breath, (even after all that he’s done to her) and decided to get married and have a family instead.

After her husband abandoned her, she was left on her own, with no money, no food. At some point a snake sneaked in the house and no one could do anything about it, she spent sleepless nights worrying..

She suffered a lot, I won’t get into more details but she didn’t feel true happiness for years…

She was a loving person who adored everyone and always wanted to make everyone else happy…putting her self last.

LESSON 7- Love yourself and do whatever makes you happy. It’s not selfish to think about yourself first, it’s essential.

And after all she’s been through, she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. And she suffered immense pain for a whole year. But through all of this she never complained and until the end she only thought about others. She didn’t deserve this horrible end. No one does. CANCER SUCKS!

She  loved to cook and take care of everyone. She made the best pastitsio and keftedes!

She always  started the beautiful text messages she used to sent to me with ‘To my beloved Eleni… ‘ and ended with ‘Love, your aunt Anna’…

Back to that night.. we drove straight to the hospital…My heart was pounding so loudly I could actually hear it…

I walked into the room… I couldn’t believe that person was my aunt, she looked like someone else, what was left of her after cancer and chemotherapies, hormone therapies, radiotherapies, liver failure, kidney failure… I don’t want and can’t describe in great detail what I’ve seen, I will only say she looked like a person dying… that image and that smell will always be in my memory. My voice was trembling, my mouth was dry… I managed to say ‘Hi, I’m here’ …

My cousin (who was pregnant at the time) started shouting ‘ She is not breathing, she is not breathing’. My aunt’s ex-husband and daughter in law were next door waiting for the nurses to finish changing her clothes and bedsheets.. they didn’t know …

She died just 10 minutes before we got there… She died on her own.

LESSON 8- Tell the people you love and care about how you feel about them often, you never know when it’s the last time you see them.

I feel in my heart that’s what she wanted… she didn’t want to die in front of her loved ones, she knew it would be more difficult for them to get over it… so she waited and died whilst the nurses were changing her clothes… The doctor had to run to an emergency call and she didn’t have time to inform the relatives before we arrived… We were the first who saw her dead.

I couldn’t believe she was gone, I couldn’t believe I was 10 minutes late… I kissed her on the forehead and mumbled ‘rest in peace’ I tried hard to hold my tears and comfort my cousin…I kept staring at her… she was finally free from the pain but no longer with us… We sat around for hours until her son arrived (who I hadn’t seen for years), we didn’t want to tell him on the phone that she died…he had a special bond with his mum and he struggled to handle all of this…

That was the worst night of my life… followed by the worst week of my life…  Since then with everything else that happened later on(posts to follow) I haven’t been myself..I still sometimes struggle to believe she is gone and I will never see her again…

continues at part 3…

2016-02-07 15.47.52

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