I haven’t felt compelled to write lately.
My aunt, my mom’s oldest sister, and her husband, have both been in healthcare facilities in Hong Kong for over 15 years. My aunt went first into the facility, having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease about 20 years ago. My uncle became ill a few years after his wife and went into the same facility but in different rooms.
I never got a chance to visit either of them when they fell ill. I regret that. Before my aunt got sick, she always made a point to invite me to her home to see her when I was visiting. I remember those visits vividly because my aunt was a loud character, always generous even though she didn’t have much. She was a taller version of my mom. My uncle, he was a gentle soul, always quiet and treated my aunt with great care, especially when she fell ill. You could almost say he worshipped her. They had 6 children together.
My mom called me last Friday morning to tell me that my aunt had died in her sleep overnight. I was sad, but also relieved, because my aunt had suffered for a long time. Then my mom called me about an hour later and told me that my uncle died as well…wow. My mom told me that when one of the sons visited him (shortly after my aunt died), my uncle was teary, like he knew, even though they had not told him anything. My uncle has been in a vegetative state for awhile, so the tears were unusual. They think because he sensed my aunt had died, his will to live just dissipated. He passed away while sleeping as well, I think shortly after the son visited.
They were together for over 60 years…..and I believe he wanted to be with his wife that’s why he died so quickly after she went. I don’t care how sappy or unreal this sounds, but I believe it. I feel so bad for my cousin, who now lives in Toronto and had just come back from a visit to Hong Kong only a week and a half ago – but at least he was able to see his parents one last time before they both passed away.
This reminds me, again, to never take anything for granted.