There are certain people who seem to be part human, part angel. That was my impression of Sarah Headsten (aka Aunt Jo), who was just called Home. This tribute from a great-niece wrapped its way around my heart. I am so grateful that her namesake let me repost it here:
Grief is a funny creature. It pops up in really weird, sometimes unexpected, other times completely expected but presenting in an unforeseen way.
Grief can be tears. Grief can be hysterical laughter. Grief can be quiet. Grief can be loud. Grief can look like cheerful content, which masks an exhausted sadness. Grief can look like anger, but in reality be a measure of heartbreak you’d never believe. Grief can also be grief for oneself.
I guess you see that more often with someone who has passed away, depending on the circumstances. When a young person dies, we grieve for them as well as ourselves. When someone who has led an extraordinary life dies, we grieve our loss.
Sweet Aunt Jo passed away today. She was 90. She had end stage Parkinson’s. Her body was not being cooperative. Her sweetness, her tenderness, her love of the church, and of her family never waned. She was an amazing woman. She is an amazing woman.
We were really quite blessed to have her in our lives and in our world. She was the consummate supporter. She loved. Unreservedly. She approved, or at least gave the impression that she approved, of everything I said and did. She loved my family, Drew and the kids. She is one of the dearest people the world will ever know. She believed wholeheartedly in the New Church, and I smile when I picture her waking up in Heaven, with her younger healthy body, reuniting with her sisters, with her old friends. Drawing people to her, just as she did in this world. With her quiet compassion, strong love of what’s good and true, and her kind acceptance.
The world was lucky to have her. And now we have to figure out how to soldier on without her smiles cheering us on, and the genuine smiles when we would make rude and probably inappropriate jokes. We got a lot of smiles.
Wonderful Aunt Jo. We love you so. Rest in peace. Say “hi” to Jodi and Vinnie, and Great Nana and Pops. We miss you already but we’re sure proud of you. You done good.