On Friday morning, I gave Mama and the kids each a necklace, with a circular medallion with "I love you" in English and the international ASL sign on each side. A gift to let them know how much I love them, especially after my surgery last week, and also a gift to commemorate Aunt Sis's life, and death, which I told the kids about on Friday.
We had waited til Friday to give them a chance to recuperate after my own hospitalization and to put as much time between my return and their learning of her death. We all hugged and cried together. Sis, who is my aunt's namesake, has taken it hard, quietly. Bud is also sad, but reaches out for hugs and cuddles, even telling me that he was sorry he hadn't gotten to know her better. Sniff. I don't know how much they will recall in years to come, but I will do my best to keep her memory alive.
And so we all wear the necklaces, a little bit of love giving us a hug around the neck. We need that reassurance of connection these days.