I am sad that she has left this mortal coil, but I am happy that she is free. A number of years ago she had a stroke, and had been bed-ridden, unable to do many things. The past few years she'd been in and out of the hospital for long stretches, and I long wondered about her quality of life. But still I am saddened by her passing.
My cousin, her daughter, tended to her closely as a family could. She set aside the degrees they had both been so proud of her achieving, and she turned her mother's bedroom into a medical space so she could be surrounded by family. She learned to her mother's new speech patterns and became attuned to her needs, along the way becoming perhaps more of a medical expert she'd ever intended. We spent holidays there so my aunt would always be included. And as much as I admired my cousin's devotion in the past few years I wondered if her life was to be spent in service to her ailing mother.
Now that time is past. I am filled with conflict. Pain at her departure, and yet an underlying joy that her soul is free.