Wednesday, March 6, 2013


My earliest memory of my aunt is about her and her pet chinchilla. I think it probably had a name, but what I remember it that I was sort of afraid, because I was afraid of animals when I was young.

Susan had the softest voice. The kind of voice that you had to lean into. The kind of voice that could convince a small child to do something she would usually be afraid of. She talked me into petting the chinchilla, and I felt so proud of myself when I did.

Susan passed away on Monday. So very unexpectedly and suddenly that I haven't cried yet except for a brief second in my yoga class yesterday when I thought about my cousins and how you never really stop needing a mom. Two tears splashed on my yoga mat, and then I pulled it together,

this is not the place to lose it, Brett.

My dad had called at 9:31pm on Monday night. I was in bed with all of the lights off, because we go to bed early. He said,

"Your Aunt Susan died today."

I stared at the lit-up phone through the dark with my chin in my hand. And for some reason, maybe this is what grief is like(?), I felt matter-of-fact about it. I said, "I'm sorry dad, " and asked what happened.

"I don't know," he said.

She was the salt of the earth type. I know you're supposed to say that when people pass away, but this is the truth.

The last time I talked to her we talked about how much she loved her job as a cashier at Harris Teeter. She didn't "need" to work, but she loved it. She said you could tell the kind of day someone was having by how their interact with the cashier at the grocery store, and she liked to think that she could turn someone's day around right then and there.

I'm sure she probably did. 

I keep wondering what her spirit is doing. If she's just  hanging out with Jesus or if she's comforting her husband and babies and mom and dad. I wonder if you can do all of that at the same time when you don't have a body to worry about. But, of course, I don't know. Only she does.

Rest peacefully, Susan.



  1. I'm so sorry for your loss and your family's loss, Brett. It sounds like your Aunt left a beautiful legacy.

  2. So sorry Brett. Unexpected deaths are so heart wrenching. Xo

  3. Thank you Brett. The chinchilla's name was Buster by the way.

  4. So sorry about your Aunt Susan! Prayers to all of you. I went to school with her husband. I think he is younger than me. I have been praying for your family. So sorry! She sounds like a wonderful person, and will I am sure will be missed by many.
    Teressa Kincaid Dixon

  5. Thank you Brett. The chinchilla's name was Buster.

  6. Thank you for sharing.