My beloved aunt just passed away around 14 hours ago.
Part of me thought that I would be in welling tears, not knowing how to contain myself. But as ‘strange’ and somewhat paranormal as it may sound, it is like she warned me that July 16th would be the day.
Last night, I went to bed around 3 AM because the night before I had gone to bed at 7AM. I thought I would sleep in very late into the morning, but I was wrong. Instead, I had a premonition, a dream, that was entirely too real.
I was in bed and like usual, my phone was right next to me on my nightstand. It had been charging all night. In my dream, I had heard my phone make a notification noise. A message had come in. I unplug my phone from its charger and simply remember that the screen I am looking at is gray and the conversation bubbles are a light green. In Chile, everyone communicates through WhatsApp and that is how my Mom and I have realistically been keeping in touch with my aunt’s health.
So, in the dream I had received a WhatsApp message from my uncle. Subconsciously, I was aware enough to know that this was a dream and though I saw text, I was forcing my dream-self to actually read the message that I saw. Not have my mind take over and ‘read’ what I wanted to read–meaning, pretty much making up words and phrases that are not even there. Interestingly, I read the message as if my uncle had been the one saying it to me in person. I mean, I heard his voice as I read the following:
Queridos, les mando este mensaje para que sepan que la Yeya ya descansa en paz…
In the dream, there was more text to read, but that was as much as my dream-like self allowed me to conceptualize.
I immediately awoke as if the whole dream had been real. I unplugged my phone from its charger. With one eye open, I scrolled through my notifications to see whether there was any new WhatsApp message. Nope. Just a whole lot of email notifications from Indeed job searches. It was 7:33AM and I had barely slept 4 and half hours. It was just a dream though…
I rolled over to see if I could fall asleep again. It was just a dream, but it had felt too real in its mere simplicity. Not too much later [I feel], I see my Mom at my bedside with her head very close to mine. She is holding her phone, looking at the screen with a very sad, concerned look. Shit, I think. Had I slept? Quietly and gently, she said “No te enojes, pero me puedes ayudar con este en mi celular que no se me va de la pantalla?”
Naturally and to my dismay, I am a grumpy morning riser. Not because I am angry, but it takes me a while to get adjusted to the light, noises, and everything else that can make a ‘normal’ person excited to get up. At least the reason she was holding her phone up close was not because of my aunt. I told Mom of my dream and that made her look even more distraught.
I helped her with what she needed and she told me she would let me sleep a little more if I wanted. My entire head felt heavy. My eyes were feeling heavier. I rolled over one way, the other way. No sense of finding that comfortable position.
Finally around 10AM, I called Mom so she would come over and lie next to me. We are like that 🙂 In the end, we fell asleep or at least I did.
Maybe an hour or 15 minutes passed. I really could not tell. I was stirred awake by a notification noise from my Mom’s phone. Oh God.
I immediately snatched my own phone to see whether the message was in the group text my uncle had set up…if so, I would have gotten the message too. And I did. It was what I had feared…it was my uncle that said that since 10:40AM my aunt was resting in peace.
Groggy still from the slumber, I almost did not react to the message. It almost felt like I had been warned, but I had to comfort Mom. I could just sense her entire essence crumble as she read the news. Throwing the covers off myself, I edged closer to Mom and wrapped her in as big as an embrace as I could. I wanted to be strong for her and let her just cry or do whatever she needed to get everything off her chest. I too, was affected by the news and I could feel the tears swell up in my eyes, making my face hot, and I could not stop the tears as they streamed down my face and fell onto my shirt.
I only thought of my cousin and my uncle at that moment. I was not necessarily saddened by her death–we all knew her time would be soon. I think that like the rest of the family, she just did not want her men to continue suffering through the pain at seeing her lack of progress in health. I felt the most pain for my beloved cousin who is so reserved with every ounce of possible emotion. Though we barely see one another and maybe talk 2-3 times a year, I would dare to say we are the closest–and to my happiness, he has said the same to me right as Mom and I got on our bus leaving Temuco ❤
The irony of my aunt’s death is this: Psh, I even laughed. So, her middle name is Carmen and she detested it, but she always claimed it was better than Simodocia–a very olden name that had belonged to my great grandmother’s sister. The name Carmen is deried from Carmel, hence “Carmelita.” NOTE: Chile is predominantly a Catholic country…Well, July 16th is the liturgical feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel–that is pretty much a celebration given to the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order, which took place around the 12th and 13th centuries. And so, I will forever remember, laugh, and heartily mock my dear aunt for the day she decided to leave this world.
Ahora para siempre seras mi Carmensita, Carmelita ❤
Que en paz descanses, mermelaaa ❤