grieving the big, small and in between


My family has been fortunate so far in these stressful times. We have a comfortable home and abundant amenities, and live in a place where we can enjoy being outside. We are able to both stay home and keep working at our jobs, and the kids have access to at least some version of schooling. We are healthy and safe. I am grateful every day for our good fortune.

But there has still been loss, of things big and small.

Today was to have been a day for celebrating the life of my aunt, one of my late father’s siblings, who passed away in early March. My family in the midwest had barely scheduled the memorial when it was postponed indefinitely due to the pandemic. My aunt was in her 90s, and her life was full and long. But I still grieve her loss, and the loss of the connection with my father’s family.


Life being complicated, today would also have been an important chorus concert for my daughter, one that she had auditioned for in early February. Of course, I could not have attended both the concert and the memorial for my aunt. I barely had time to agonize over this before the complications compounded, and effectively made my own decisions easier.

These are only two of the disrupted plans in my life and household. March and April had plenty more. Many I let go with a shrug. A few I was happy to relinquish. A few others, though, have taken a lot more processing. (And maybe a bit of packing them up to process later.)

I chose these photos to go with this post because I’m not sure I want to post photos of my aunt at this time. But looking back at the handful of photos I have of her from decades past, I noted that she was wearing yellow in two of them taken over 10 years apart. So the daffodils are for her. The daffodils have also been cheering me, and encouraging me with their resilience in the temperamental New England spring weather. They bounced back remarkably well after a snow storm.

3 thoughts on “grieving the big, small and in between

  1. A sad but lovely post. Keep on blogging, Alejna. I believe you have much that’s important to say, and often do it so eruditely.

  2. It is hard to lose the generation above yours … I am now the oldest in my family age group and there is no one even close to my family of the previous generation. My husband has one cherished cousin at 90+, presently in a Long Term Care home that is Covid.19 free so far. I feel guilty about calling her too often, but I really need to know she is still there, still bright and energetic. And so I can really relate to your loss. Our lives have been wrenched into strange patterns with missing pieces.
    However, my mother’s violets are blooming, as of today, and my daff bed is a sea of glorious yellow. Geese are honking their way north and we have two demented male turkeys puffed and pacing while the females ignore them. These things remain, cushioning at least the small griefs and putting the bigger ones in perspective.
    And I mostly got the toaster oven clean today. Mostly. Should have panic bought steel wool I guess.
    Sending sympathy and hugs.

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