Update: My heart is heavy

Aunt Claire with Anya, around 2 weeks old.


The blanket Aunt Claire made Anya (Josh and I at my shower).


The funeral is Friday morning and we will be sitting shiva through next week. I’m doing a lot better but please keep my uncle, my cousins and their families, my mother and her brother in your thoughts. They are glad her pain is over but they miss her so much already and are hurting.

Click below for the original post and prior updates.

Update 12/12 3 pm: (Sarah’s note: Danielle asked me to post this for her; obviously she’s with her family at this time.)

My aunt Claire died at about 2:10 pm today, surrounded by her 3children and husband. I got to see her, hold her hand, read her myletter and tell her how much I loved her. She was conscious and had hereyes closed but she heard and understood everything. She actuallyopened her eyes and tried to raise her hand.

She’s free now and my heart is at peace.

Thank you to everyone for your kind comments and emails.

Update on the Update: My uncle told my mother that I can visit for a few minutes! We’re leaving around 10.

Update December 12th: It doesn’t look like I’ll be able tovisit at all. I’m not sure if it’s her family’s decision or herwishes, but she doesn’t want to see anyone at all. My mother is goingto visit this morning. I told her that I would accompany her for theride but she doesn’t think I should. Since I posted this and readeveryone’s comments and emails and talked to a number of people, Ithink I’ve resolved inside myself that it’s best for her to pass asquickly as possible because this is not living. She is not the womanwe all knew and loved. Though the pain medicine will ensure she is notsuffering, her body is dying and this is just a waiting game. No onewants to see her like this but it’s so hard to let go of thiswonderful, loving woman. It’s really true what they say about takingpeople for granted untilthey pass and I feel like I have learned a painful lesson with herillness.

Angela and some readers suggested I write her a letter and hopefully my mother can read it to her this morning so here goes.

Dear Aunt Claire,

I love you.  I can’t imagine a world without you.  I really wanted tosee you to say goodbye but it looks like that will not be possible. Ifelt like I needed to visit you, especially after you’ve come to everysingle play I’ve been in and been to every one of my graduations andsent us cards for every single occasion. I wanted to hold your hand andkiss you and tell you these words but I know you know that I love youfiercely. So I hope that by writing you this letter that I will havethe chance to tell you some of what is in my heart. 

You have been such a significant part of my life and meant so muchthat I don’t think I’ll realize the tremendous loss fully for years tocome. I can’t imagine our family without you- the mother hen, hoveringnear her chicks, making sure they have everything they need, protectingthem, but letting them wander on their own.  You’ve loved my mother andtook such care of her her entire life, you’ve loved all of yourchildren and Uncle Bob and your grandchildren, you’ve loved yourfriends and their families, and you’ve loved me and Justin, youwelcomed and loved Josh and Anya. I want you to know that I may haverarely said it but I loved you so much all of this time and of course Ialways will.

There’s a fog over my world now and I can’t imagine how it will everlift.  I know it will eventually and that in our pain, the family willhonor you by knitting ourselves even closer together. While my mom andHarry look after Uncle Bob, I will do my best to lookafter the girls.  I adore them so much and am so proud of the beautifulstrong young women they are growing up to be.

I am so proud of you for making the decision to go into hospice.Your bravery and dignity even in these last days will be the legacy Ihope to pass on to Anya.  She is such a bright shining light in my lifeand I am so glad that you got to know her.  Her patience, kindness andcompassion resonates so strongly in our lives.  Josh and Anya love youso much too.  Anya loves her Aunt Claire blanketand I am so honored that you made it for her; it is something that shewill always have and that we will talk about, like Aunt Sophie’s applestruedel.

I wish you so much peace and serenity. 

luv ya,
Danielle


I have been passionate about the Celebrity Baby Blog ever since I created it but this week my heart is in a different place.

My aunt, my mother’s older sister, is dying. She has lung cancerthat was only diagnosed in October and as of last week, she was havingchemo but she decided she doesn’t want to continue and they are movingher into hospice this week. I feel so terrible and she hasn’t evendied yet. My heart is so heavy. I can’t even imagine what it mustfeel like to lose a parent or sibling or worse, a child. My aunt haslost two of the three at a very young age. I normally don’t believe inan afterlife, but the only thing that brings me any relief is toimagine my aunt rejoining her newborn daughter and her parents in somekind of spiritual or energy afterlife.

I kind of thought this was going to drag on a while and that I’dhave enough time for all of us to get over our colds (all of us), strepthroat (me), pneumonia (Anya) and visit and now that we’re all better,I don’t even know if or when I’ll be allowed to visit her. I realizethat I want to see her and say goodbye and that it’s all about my needbut I still want to see her one last time at least.

Can anything make you feel better when you are losing someone who is close?

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