On March 24, 2015, my aunt, Davidetta Nohn Mentor, passed away. I had planned to write a blog post about it the week that it happened, some kind of touching sendoff that would eloquently tie all of the emotions I was feeling up in a little bow. But when I sat down to begin writing, I found that for the first time in my entire life, I was really, truly at a loss for words.
It wasn’t because I didn’t have anything to write about. There is no shortage of amusing anecdotes I could tell about my aunt, no end to all the memories we shared together. In fact, my aunt is even a part of my earliest memory, eyes twinkling, head thrown back in laughter.
But still, I couldn’t write. For the same reason that I can’t talk about it: I’m not ready.
I’m not ready to admit to myself that it’s all over; that we’ll never have the opportunity to create another memory together. It doesn’t feel real. Whenever something good happens in my life, or I do something I’m proud of, I still pick up the phone, ready to call her and tell her all about it before I remember: I can’t. I will never do that again. All I can do is hold the memories I have of my aunt close to me, and try to make sense of the future.
It’s a terrible feeling; one I’ve read about many times in many different novels and seen happen to other people, but didn’t quite understand until it happened to me. I don’t know how to properly convey that feeling in writing, and I don’t know if I ever will.
So for now, I won’t. But if the day ever comes when all of my memories of my aunt do not run together, when I can coherently speak about the effect she had on my life, I will.
Until then, I think everything can be summarized as such: Davidetta Nohn Mentor will be deeply missed.