Today, I was awoken by the news that my “auntie” Dar died two day ago. I’m still trying to process the news and trying, but failing, to get over my anger. I’ve had a few people on Twitter pass on their condolences, and each time, I’m having to re-tell why this death is difficult on me. Each time I have to do so, I get angrier. So, please bear with me while I purge my thoughts and explain.
My “auntie” was my mother’s childhood best friend. My “aunties” mum was one of my grandmother’s best friends. I grew up in that family and my “auntie” was one of the few people my mother would tolerate us calling “auntie”. We have this sense of formality that unless someone is blood related, you don’t give them familiar titles. However, my “auntie” Dar was different and it was encouraged that we call her by that title.
When I was 15, my mother kicked me out because I’d no longer just sit there and accept my beating like a good little girl. My “auntie” Dar did what no-one else would dare to do, she defied my mother and took me into her home so that I wouldn’t live on the streets. She went even further and testified against my mother when child and family services got involved. She was there for me when no-one else dared because they didn’t want to be on the receiving end of my mother’s bi-polar wrath. This ended the lifelong friendship between my mother and my “auntie” Dar. They would hardly speak again, except to argue over me.
My “auntie” Dar is one of the people responsible for me still being alive today.
However, it wasn’t all roses. You see, my “auntie” Dar was a cocaine and codeine addict. She showered me with love. She made sure I was clothed, fed and had a roof over my head. She was more family to me than my family ever was. However, there were other dysfunctions that I had to witness as a result of her drug addiction.
People turned their backs on my “auntie” Dar because of the terrible things she did as a result of her addiction. She was not a bad person. She was one of the best people I have ever known. She did, however, have a rough life and made some terrible choices as a result; choices that most people could not forgive her for.
Long story short, she died two days ago as a result of organ failure due to drug abuse. She has been slowly dying for decades and the last few months of her life, the death was even more painful and agonising as her body slowly shut down. If my memory is serving me correct, she would have been 60 this month.
I’m not upset that she is dead. Death in itself does not bother me, unless it is the death of a child. We all die. That is life. What has me upset and, I admit quite angry, is the way she died. It was slow and painful. And she was probably very alone in her last days. She has spend the last 15-ish years very alone because every one gave up on her.
I am going to miss her quite a bit. She disappeared out of my life when Kid2 was just a toddler. I was one of the people she ended up taking advantage of. She took money from me to feed her habit. I’m not the one who removed her from my life. She needed help. She told me she felt too guilty to talk to me after what she had done to me, so she just disappeared out of my life, and that of many others.
I had heard stories about her popping up here and there over the last decade. But to a lot of people, what was going on with her was a mystery.
I will never forget what she sacrificed for me and what she did, when no-one else would. The world needs more people like her.
I just wish she didn’t have her terrible addiction to deal with.