Several weeks ago my husband’s cousin called to tell us that their twenty-year-old granddaughter Hannah had passed away rather suddenly of an infection of the blood. When Hannah was born, she was missing the main artery to her heart, so within months she had her first of many surgeries to deal with this serious issue, mainly ballooning the smaller arteries into her heart to allow the blood to flow as freely as possible. The doctors guessed she’d live maybe six years.
Though she had a portable oxygen tank for most of her life, she was a lively girl with lots of dreams for the future and a ready smile. She’d had a heart valve replacement about six months prior and it took her a long time to recover from that — and she said, “No more.” Still, she seemed to be doing okay lately, but this infection came suddenly and took her within few days. She never had to go through another operation. Her funeral was May 21st in Saskatoon.
Last Nov 28th my sister Wilma left me a voice message: “Chris, we have to talk.” Our sister Donna, who’d just turned 66, had died of a drug overdose. She was living with some friends in Regina at the time. She moved often, often had no phone, and I hadn’t been able to get in touch with her for several years.
Her middle son, James, had her cremated that week; since then it’s taken some time to set a date for burying the urn with her ashes. We did that last Saturday at noon in Moose Jaw with close family and a few friends present. Afterward we met at a pavilion in the park for a lovely simple picnic lunch. I was really glad we went; visiting with the family brought closure to her death.
My sister Rose died at the end of Dec 2019 and her husband wasn’t well. Both of them smokers since their teens, Rose had contracted lung cancer, was treated, but it spread and then she got an infection that took her.
I can’t say we knew her husband very well. We lived in the East for twenty of their married years and haven’t meet him very often since we’re back. Plus, Butch was the type that never has so much to say. But we knew his health hasn’t been good for some years; he suffered from serious emphysema and also was treated for bladder cancer in 2019. Now both problems have risen up to overwhelm him; last Saturday we all knew it wouldn’t be long until there’d be another funeral. We received word Tuesday evening that Butch had passed. He’d have been 69 in September.
So this month seems to especially be our “season” for funerals and/or “Celebrations of life.”