Monday, October 12, 2009

Suddenly Wien

Here I am, in Vienna a few months earlier than I had expected to be. The plan was to come visit Tante Gerda over Christmas, but when she passed away on the 19th of September, my mom and I flew out immediately. It's been a heavy fortnight, but working our way through Tante's belongings, accumulated in the elegant apartment that she lived in from 1958 until just a few weeks ago, has allowed for a sense of intimacy that was pretty intangible for me while she was alive.

Tante spent the last few hours of her life with her incredibly sweet cousin Elfi at her side. This woman is an angel. They held hands as Tante took her final breaths. The last time I saw Elfi I was a small child, and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to get to know her a little bit better during this visit.

Claud and Matthias flew in for the funeral, which was beautiful. My mom and I went out for another visit to the grave a few days later. My great grandmother, grandmother, great aunt, and great uncle now all lie there together, in the Baumgartner Friedhof.

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