Watching My Aunt Lose Her Son by Jennifer France-Talvitie

Two weeks ago my 25 year old cousin died suddenly. It has been a horrible, incredibly sad time for my family and I.

I went home to be with my family and plan and attend his funeral. I watched as my aunt, uncle and their two remaining kids struggled to come to terms with his sudden passing. As we all rallied around them, we were constantly trying to make sense of this horrible situation.

What struck me and continues to strike me was watching my aunt lose her son. As a new mom, I feel a strong connection and understanding of motherhood now. A feeling you just can’t understand until you become a mom. I talked with my aunt about her boy, her “baby”. She shared so many memories with all of us. I made it my job to put together the posters for his funeral that were full of pictures of his life. There were so many amazing pictures. The ones with his parents really hit me hard. The ones with his mom filled me with intense sadness and dread.

The world of vulnerability we enter into as parents is powerful and strong. If we were to spend our day thinking about all the disastrous situations our children could get into every second of the day we’d wrap then in bubble wrap and never let them out of our site. But we can’t live that way. However, watching my aunt suffer so much makes me want to do just that.

As a mom, I can feel my aunt’s anguish. It’s palpable. All I can do is send her all my love, speak with her about Ryan and be there for her when she needs me.

When I look at my little boy, I feel so blessed. I hold him tight and take in each moment I have with him.


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