(and I’m so sorry this comes so soon after Aly and Paul’s loss)

This goes to a small subsection of my friends list. I understand if anyone either can or can’t feel they can post or email and appreciate you taking the time to read this.

I’ve just had an email from my Mother to let me know that her sister, my Aunty Barbara, is terminally ill in hospital with kidney and liver failure. She is mentioning having to tell Grandma and the shock it’s been.

I need to respond. But I can’t work out the words to use. It’s a complicated situation, not only because of my relationship with my family, but because Mother and Aunty Barbara can’t stand each other and neither can Aunty Barbara and Grandma. They haven’t seen each other for years. Actually Mother isn’t that fond of Grandma either.

What I need to do is get across that I do have a response, that I am sorry that they have this situation and sorry for Aunty Barbara being so ill, but also of course a firmness that it is not appropriate for me to be involved, without actually saying so, and a genuine wish that the passing and aftermath is… well, smooth, unproblematic. I am a bit stuck. Flowers etc are not appropriate – I think it needs to be an email message. I have no wish to see Aunty Barbara, as I didn’t really have a relationship with her past Christmas cards and haven’t seen her/cousins since I was about 13.

Can you suggest any form of words? I need your collective wisdom here…

Thank you