Two days ago, a member of my host family passed away. I was in the kitchen grabbing a fruit, when my madre started talking to me about dinner plans. Mainly, whether or not I would mind eating late. Her speaking speed is very fast, but I distinctly heard the word muerte. It means death in spanish.
Of course I insisted on eating out. I didn't want to make her have to cook dinner for me. I also didn't know what to say instead of "lo siento." Which, to me, sounds too childish and juvenile to encompass how truly sorry I feel. From what I gather, her cuñada, or, sister-in-law, was hospitalized randomly out of no where and then passed away shortly after. I cannot say from what, nor would I ask. I do think she was very young. While I have never met this person, I do know that my host mother has a heart of only gold. She does not deserve sadness. From the outside, she seems to be okay. She is still cooking all of our meals and going about her business. When she talked to me about the funeral that was held today, she spoke with a blunt but gentle tone.
My program director said that, in times of tragedy, it is the Spanish custom to buy sweets and say "para endulcar tu tristesa" which can roughly be translated to: in order to sweeten the sadness.I love learning about other customs, and think that this practice is very interesting. I just wish I didn't have to learn about it this way.
I bought my host family a small gift and made this note.
In my own words, RIP.