On Facebook, instead of referencing Aunt Rita by name when discussing her illness, I've been saying "my relative" for the past few months. Well, evidently, over the past couple days I slipped and said "aunt" when referencing the start of hospice care.
I got a FB message from a cousin of mine this morning. Cousin R's grandfather and my grandfather were first cousins, so I'm not sure what particular ordinal number to assign to that. Second? Third? Whatever. He's my cousin. I leave it at that.
But I digress. His message was along the lines of, "I saw your post. Which aunt?"
Uh-oh. That told me that in all the confusion, he might not be aware of the most recent events that have been going on. It's understandable, as we're talking about a health condition that has deteriorated very rapidly in just a few weeks' time. Five weeks ago, we were all celebrating her feast day in Philadelphia, and now she can't even sit up from a lying-down position without assistance.
Well, the last thing I wanted to do was deliver bad news via an email or a Facebook message, so I called on the phone instead. And unfortunately, I had to break a lot of bad news via that call. Most of the bad changes have happened in the past few weeks, and he wasn't aware that things had deteriorated this far, this quickly. But maybe it was God's providence that my cousin saw that post and it said "aunt", because otherwise, he might not have been apprised of the situation until even more downturns took place.
It's perfectly understandable that my aunt's son has been so preoccupied with taking care of her, he hasn't called every last branch of the family yet. Between working full-time and caring for his mother, he probably hardly knows which way is up right now. So at least now the necessary information, sad though it is, has been disseminated a bit farther than before. That's one chore that's been taken off my cousin J's shoulders. I hope Cousin R can help spread the word, as I haven't got the phone numbers to anyone else from his branch of the family; I've only got his phone number.
Argh, though. That wasn't how I was expecting to start this day.