I still can’t process yesterday’s events.

Around 4pm on Sunday afternoon, I gave my aunt Susanna a little wave and she waved right back, even offering a trace of a smile. But she was in great pain. It just wasn’t a good day for her. Most times she would rally, and she’d be lucid, funny and fiercely specific.

By 11am on Monday, we were given the news she had passed away. Not even 24 hours.

That’s the simplicity of life and death.

It is safer and easier for me to retreat onto a blank page, but not so easy to fill this space. Is it enough to say that I feel too much? My aunt Susanna was fond of saying “I love you too much.” Is anything ever too much?

We have lost a woman who was more than an aunt to my siblings and I. She was our second mother.

I just know I wanted a little bit more time. We all wanted a little bit more time. Knowing someone you love is going to be gone soon offers little consolation. We were told “two weeks to two months.”

Susanna lived for us for one more week.

That’s all she could give. And we are forever grateful. She was a strong-willed woman. That strength is now passed on to us, her legacy.

My friend and colleague John wrote to me, “Too many strong, beautiful women have left us this year.”

He’s right.

As I drove to work this AM, one of my favorite songs, “This Woman’s Work” came on my iPod. Hearing Kate Bush’s lyrics interpreted and given a striking context by Maxwell gave my feelings a new landscape to roam. I cried, I sang, I felt and loved too much all over again.

I’m sure as these days lead up to her memorial and burial, we will continue to feel too much. Feel and love, because that’s all that matters right now.

Tuesday, September 30.

#SusannaCV


“This Woman’s Work”
Written by Kate Bush — Performed by Maxwell

Pray God you can cope.
I stand outside this woman’s work,
This woman’s world.
Ooh, it’s hard on the man,
Now his part is over.
Now starts the craft of the father.

I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.

I should be crying, but I just can’t let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking

Of all the things I should’ve said,
That I never said.
All the things we should’ve done,
That we never did.
All the things I should’ve given,
But I didn’t.

Oh, darling, make it go,
Make it go away.

Give me these moments back.
Give them back to me.
Give me that little kiss.
Give me your hand.

(I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.
I know you have a little life in you yet.
I know you have a lot of strength left.)

I should be crying, but I just can’t let it show.
I should be hoping, but I can’t stop thinking

Of all the things we should’ve said,
That were never said.
All the things we should’ve done,
That we never did.
All the things that you needed from me.
All the things that you wanted for me.
All the things that I should’ve given,
But I didn’t.

Oh, darling, make it go away.
Just make it go away now.

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