March 5, 2019

Mrs. Pamela Marie Burnette

Today would’ve been your 56th birthday. I wish I’d known how much I’d miss you. Being honest, I never thought about the possibility that you may not be here. I was so comfortable with the relationship we had; like two ships in constant passing. You there and I here. Always passing.

Even as we passed, you always made sure to remind me to believe in myself. You made a point of encouraging me even when it was you who needed it most. You’d say, “Kenn, you should go to culinary school.” and I would always return with, “I know auntie. One day.” I always knew you’d still be here to see me do all the things you believed I could. I took your presence for granted.

The funny thing about death is that it causes you to acknowledge your own mortality. The cognitive dissonance of knowing that life and death exist in tandem is intense and I guess I always turned a blind eye to it. Until you left. I’ll never forget telling you goodbye for the last time, the last words I said to you. “I’m not gonna have to come to visit you in the hospital anymore Auntie.”

Needless to say, today has been rough. In more ways than one. I miss you. I love you. I’m fighting for you. As difficult as today felt, I got through it with subtle reminders of who I am and who you knew me to be. I remembered the purple flowers we had at home after you passed and how alive I realized I am. I remembered my relationships and how much I valued them. Family. All of the things you held dear are here in celebration of you.

Auntie Pam, today is your birthday. I hope heaven is decorated with purple flowers, balloons, and a cake just for you. Enjoy your freedom and keep us close. You no longer have to suffer or endure pain. I love you more than I ever let you know.

Happy birthday Auntie. I love you.

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