The road ends, but the journey continues...

Sharing a Double Grief

The day after my cousins and Aunt Dolores returned to Chicago from Dad’s funeral* in Colorado, my Aunt Betty fell, broke her arm and entered into hospice care within the week.
Unlike Dad, she and his other sibs were/are lifelong Cubs fans. And I confess I caught the cub-bug from them back in the day!  Freshly back from Colorado** hubby and I settled into a regular routine of watching 2016’s historic World Series. It helped ease re-entry into our life away from loved ones, life’s new normal and tending to everyday living in our little rental here in South Carolina.
Meanwhile, my cousins and Aunt Dolores had the television on for all the games, too. They spent time with Aunt Betty during her last ‘dream-sleep’ days listening and talking with her about all the exciting baseball action.
On November 1st, Dad’s sister joined the increasing Family party up in heaven.
When news spread over the Bruno Grapevine about her passing, I took comfort in thinking she had the best seat in the Universe to see those Cubbies take the World Series in all its victorious glory***.
The very next day, Terry and I took to the road again to attend the wake/funeral mass on Chicago’s south side.
Going back to old family locations, rejoining the cousins and the last two remaining of Dad’s sibs proved to be an unexpected blessing in the midst of my own raw grief.
I received an extra gift from my aunt – a chance to honor her – standing for Dad – and a chance to continue in the healing and comfort with Family – Coming back to my roots and laying Dad to rest there, too.
Surrounded by Family still in mourning over the death of Dad; beginning the trail of sorrow again with the passing of Aunt Betty – shared sorrow, shared support.
Joining joyful memories with the present shifting of Family ‘residency’ – sharing in the double grief – makes me think Aunt Betty waited to sit at that Family Table till Dad would be there, too.

Betty Jane (Bruno) Evans
2/7/1928 – 11/1/2016

Miss all of you…

Last trip to Chicago with Ma (2004) - missing only 4 oldsters. l - r: Adua, Dennis, Dad, Elmer, Betty, Frank, Rose, Ma, Dolores with Lizzy

Last trip to Chicago with Ma (2004) – missing only 4 Bruno oldsters. l – r: Adua, Dennis, Dad, Elmer, Betty, Frank, Rose, Ma, Dolores with Lizzy

*Dad died 9/22, we held the funeral mass, internment and celebration of life feast on 10/14 to enable more out-of-town family to attend
**Terry drove out of Hurricane Matthew on 10/8 in order to be with me pre-post funeral, and most of all to bring me back home with him; we left 10/21
***Cool tidbit: another cousin got to see the celebration parade up front since he has a law office on Michigan Ave


  1. Lillian Batarseh

    May you receive a double portion of God’s grace and blessings after your family’s double loss. May family and faith strengthen and sustain you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yes, faith and family are a big dose of sustainability for me right now. I like the idea of being granted a double portion of His grace and blessings, thanks for letting me see that possibility.
      Take care, Madame.

  2. Lulu

    Laura, I cried when I read this. I am so sorry for the loss of your aunt, especially so close to the loss of your dad. I think what touches me most is imagining the two of them reunited in heaven. Know that my prayers are with you and your family.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh LuLu, such a tender soul…thank you for reaching out, I am touched.

  3. Alison Reynolds

    This has been such a difficult year for you! My heart breaks for the losses you’ve endured but I know what a strong and resilient person you are. I promise to be a more attentive friend for you but do know that my thoughts and my love are always with you!

    • laura bruno lilly

      Fond memories of you, Star, your cello and us playing together…just a few things that bring a smile to my face and lift my heart. Thanks for stopping by here.
      peace, partner!

  4. Jane Chesebrough

    I am sorry for you having to go through another loss and happy that you could be with your loved ones. Happy for you for the Cubs win and sure you felt close with those present and those in spirit as you all watched the parade.However….being from Canada and having lived in Toronto, maybe next year. 😉

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you for such sweet wishes, Jane.

  5. Bob Cloud

    I’m very sorry for the lose of your Aunt Betty. Words cannot heal such lose, only God and time. I can only suggest that your Aunt and your Dad are together again with your Mom celebrating their love for you. God Bless.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Please know that your ‘suggestion’ is a comfort, Bob.
      peace always

  6. Anna Scott Graham

    Sending you love and prayers. An amazing family you have around you. 😉

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for your support, Anna.

  7. Janis

    I’m so sorry for your double loss. You obviously come from a solid, loving family and their mutual support is strong and unswaying.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you for your sympathy, Janis. Your comment hits the mark…

  8. Marla

    Laura, my heart is with you as you grieve. it must feel like pieces of you have been taken away. I hope you will find some peace in remembering them and sharing these memories with the next generation so they can live on in our hearts.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you, Marla, we’ve been blessed in that all the cousins kids and our own have/had relationships with all of that generation which serves as a base of remembrance to build upon.

  9. Lori

    My heart goes out to you in your losses, Laura. As you know, I get the Cubs connection, and I also understand living some distance from family. We moved to Florida after we got married and stayed for a quarter of a century. We just moved back 18 months ago … and just in time to watch my family enjoy their long awaited win. Hugs to you.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Family is Forever….
      hugs back atchya

  10. Linda W.

    I’m so sorry, Laura. You have my condolences and my prayers for your family. I wish I could have seen you when you were here in Illinois.
    We’re all thrilled that the Cubs finally won! My older brother was the true Cubs fan in our family. He never gave up hope that they would win.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you , Linda.
      And, we just might be able to meet sometime – middle daughter and her husband now live in Lansing, MI (she’s working on her Doctorate) which we used as our homebase and all the girl cousins have declared that’s our new midway-getaway place! 😀

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