Saturday, March 23, 2013

Goodbye, Aunt Joan

Death is a Dialogue between by Emily Dickinson
Death is a Dialogue between
The Spirit and the Dust.
"Dissolve" says Death -- The Spirit "Sir
I have another Trust" --

Death doubts it -- Argues from the Ground --
The Spirit turns away
Just laying off for evidence
An Overcoat of Clay.

 I have mentioned my Aunt Joan a few times in my blogs. She was always an inspiration, she was funny, and always had a smile on her face! Joan dropped out of high school and decided to take a correspondence course to graduate, which was very good for me because she took a couple literature courses, one I know was American Literature. This was in the 1970's! I couldn't wait to get my little hands on those literature books, I first started out by looking at all the fascinating pictures! Then after I learned the basics of reading, it was on! This is where I developed my love for poetry, writing, and Emily Dickinson. I should add that I also learned quite a bit from her algebra books, but that's another subject altogether.
     Joan is my Daddy's  baby sister, she is also my favorite Aunt! She was a very non-traditional woman! She played guitar, drums, raced cars and was a great mechanic! She always had jokes and made me laugh. She was my confidant and a very good friend as well. (Joan never met her Dad, Clay, my grandfather, because he died from a rock fall in the coal mines in southeastern Kentucky in July of 1956, my Aunt Joan was born one month later. She also had a hard life...she married my Uncle Bill in 1976 and he committed suicide in 1977. She worked as a housekeeper in Ohio for the last 30+ years and it was very hard work. She also loved me more than anything! She is a very special lady, who always encouraged me to get a good education and to read.
     Today is an especially hard day for me because you see, Aunt Joan had something happen to her, not sure what yet, but she has been brain-dead for the last 3 days and has been on life support, they pulled the plug today @ 11:00 am. I didn't get to say my goodbyes, again. I hate goodbyes. But I wish I could have told her that it is going to be alright and that I love her more than she probably knew, and to let her know what an inspiration she has been on my life. It was actually Joan, who introduced me to music, rock and roll to be exact, one day, when I was very little, she played Loco-Motion by Grand Funk Railroad on her record player, it was a 45 LP, and I was hooked! I have loved music since and the lyrics to songs can be so poetic. I like the form(s) that poetry takes and music is the same way for me. All I can say at this point is Joan will be sorely missed by me and many others! I love you Joan and goodbye for now, until we meet again!

Do not stand at my grave and weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye

My Aunt Joan!!


  1. What a wonderful tribute to a very special lady. Sending hugs your way, Judy!

  2. My heart goes out to you today as I begin the Anne of Green Gables Marathon with my 9 year old daughter. May every girl have an aunt that means so much! We are all so lucky to have love and lost than to never have loved all!

  3. Amen! Thank you so much! Aunts are very special people. I am glad to have had 42 years with Joan! Good luck with your marathon!

  4. As I read this, I was reminded of my own recent struggles.

    Death is so difficult for those of us left behind, especially when it seems as if we were robbed of a proper goodbye. Memory confronts us around every corner, sometimes resulting in a giggle, sometimes leading to a tear.

    I wrote about my cousin's death recently and posted a few poems on my blog. Perhaps you'll find comfort in these, as I did.

    Blessings on you... <3