Aunt Ty died years ago. I did not witness her death but I witnessed her dying. Aunt Jackie and Aunt Celia, in that order, were the next closest kin who watched Ty suffer. Now they are all dead. I’m the only one who remembers and there’s something devastating about that. At Aunt Ty’s funeral, everyone was grieving properly, crying quietly, nodding yes to the preacher who spoke well of her even though he didn’t know her. And at the end, there were terrible choked sobs that broke out. They were my sobs, bitter and miserable. Then there was a collective intake of breath and they all joined in, sobbing as they rightfully should have, assuring me I was not alone.

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