CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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A Hard Day Today. Dorothy Is Gone.

I guess I need to try and write something about Dorothy, because it's very hard to deal with her passing.

I'm disappointed there won't be any service for her. No funeral, no memorial. No closure for anyone who isn't a part of her immediate family.

I told June she could still hold a memorial later on -- not right away -- that would include Dorothy's friends, but June said Dorothy's friends were mostly gone now, preceding her in death.

I suppose it makes sense not to go to the trouble for just a few people. And her family will have their closure in Condon on Monday when her body is laid to rest in the cemetary there where she lived.

I'll have to do something of my own here at home. I've felt sort of lousy all day. I guess I have to admit it's the loss and trying to deal with it.

Don't say to me 'Dorothy was old; she was 89' -- because I don't want to hear it! She wasn't old if you knew her. She wasn't old to me.

And she was one of the nicest people I've ever known. I never heard her say one ill word about anyone, ever. I never heard her raise her voice for any reason. She loved doing for others, even when she was at her most ill.

Her death was horrible, frankly. I'd hoped she'd pass quietly in her sleep, but it was far from that.

Marilyn mistressmarilyn and I were up much of the night on Wednesday. Marilyn didn't feel well, so she stayed home from work on Thursday (the 11th) and we slept in late.

We'd finally gotten out of bed and were up and around. Anyway, Marilyn went to listen to the message on the answering machine. She came back and was so gentle and sweet with me when she told me the news that Dorothy had died.

I went and phoned June immediately -- and then went straight over to the house. I was dressed, but hadn't really even combed my hair or a thing. But June's my best friend -- we've both seen one another at our very worst! (Hair uncombed, even with hair color on it while coloring it, in our night clothes, with no makeup or dirty. We're close enough that it doesn't matter...)

June's been remarkably brave about this whole time with Dorothy there at her house dying. I know it probably seems strange to some people that this has been so difficult for June, but I actually think it makes some sense...

When you get older and have your parents still in your lives, you start to feel as if they'll always be there.

Call it denial or whatever, it simply is what it is. You still feel like an orphan to lose your parents, no matter what age you are. Thankfully hospice was very helpful. And June's hubby Jim rose to the occasion wonderfully!

June's husband really doesn't deal well with illness. When June is ill he doesn't even like to be in the house and will use any excuse to go out. But he stood by her during terrible moments to help with Dorothy.

There's no point in relating the ugly details of her last weeks. But it was horrible. Demeaning for Dorothy and heart-wrenching for June. June shared most of it with me, knowing she could.

She keeps saying how sorry she is that she wasn't more understanding when our mother was so ill and finally died. She keeps saying that she had no idea until now when she's been through it herself. I don't want her to feel bad about that. I think it's true that it's hard to understand until you've been through it, really. I think it's made me able to be very supportive for June, seeing as I have some idea of how hard it is.

Still, I realize it's a blessing.

Dorothy has left behind her mortal coil and gone on to the better world beyond life. She suffered terribly in the end, and that suffering is finally over. I'm glad for her.

My grief is entirely selfish today, for the most part. While I feel a terrible sorrow for June, I'm actually feeling bad for myself.

I feel like I didn't really get to say 'goodbye' to my friend before she died. That sounds stupid, but strangely enough it takes me back to when my Aunt passed away...

Her name was Dorothy, too. She was my favorite relative (outside our immediate family), my Dad's baby sister. Aunt Dorothy (and Marilyn) and I were very, very close in the last years of her life.

And Aunt Dorothy and I used to talk on the phone several times a day with each other. Never less than twice. We had a friendship that made her seem like another sister to me -- a close sister.

When she was in the hospital dying we had our Grandpa Ed in yet another hospital in another part of town, also dying. We spent our time going back and forth between the two hospitals visiting the two of them.

Aunt Dorothy lived with and cared for Grandpa Ed (her dad) for her entire life, really. (My Grandma May died the year I was born.) She was put in the hospital one day, and Grandpa the next.

This was in the month of December. We ended up having a snowstorm that year that kept us from getting back to the hospital. I remember pleading with everyone that we should try and go anyway, but nobody was willing to try. (Not ridiculous of them, considering it was a bad storm. But I was distraut.)

Aunt Dorothy died alone with none of us there. I never got to have a final moment with her to say goodbye.

You know, generally I don't let these things bother me. It does no good to dwell on them and they don't really matter. I'm sure Aunt Dorothy knows how much I'd have liked to be at her side for her final hours.

I'm sure my friend Dorothy knew how much I loved her and how much I'll miss her, too. But some days it's hard. It hurts more. The pain is on the surface and I can't help wanting to just sit and cry...

I feel very self-indulgent. I don't mean to be this wrapped up in myself. This is only my loss in the smallest possible way. But I'll miss my friend. I really will.

I know someday I'll see her again. I believe that without any doubts, whatsoever. I look forward to that reunion, though I'm in no hurry to join her. (smile)

June had me make a copy for her of a photograph today, so she could put it in her mother's casket. It's a picture of June when she was only four years old. She's with her brother, who died at the age of 31. (In the picture he's five.)

They're these darling little kids, each on a tricycle on the porch of their house. (June is holding a cute little purse.) The picture is adorable!

Here it is:
My babies, my babies...

June told me in her last days her mother would hold that picture and stare at it and say 'my babies, my babies.'

I cried after I wrote the above and then read aloud Marilyn's latest (very sad) "King Arthur" fic. I couldn't finish it, Marilyn had to take over at the end. I just broke down it was such a moving and emotional fic.

She's an amazing writer. She just finished "Lancelot's Birthday" and now "The Hairshirt." Both are wonderful. (She's the best writer of KA around, bar none.)

Well, we just watched "Master and Commander" on HBO. Wonderful movie. We were already into Russell Crowe lately because of getting "Gladiator" on DVD. (We picked up some "Gladiator" pics at our convention last weekend...)

Now I'm either going to write, or we'll play some computer games before bed. Enough sadness for one day...

(I wish my ear would stop crackling. This has been going on for weeks and weeks, on and off. I get dizzy and the works. Ugh.)

Hugs to all my friends, by the way!

Tags: 2004, aunt-dorothy, death, dorothy, ear-problems, june, marilyn, november-2004

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