Monday, December 5, 2011

Another Goodbye

My Uncle took his life yesterday.

I think I am still in shock.

The last time we spoke was not a cohesive time. I had decided that I would not allow anyone, no matter who it was, to speak unkindly to me.

After 20 years of sobriety, he had relapsed. He was no longer the person I remembered him to be. He was drunk, he was angry, and he was unkind.

His death came as a total shock to me. The last years had been particularly horrible for him. He divorced after a long marriage. His mother died too young. He found out he had Stage 4 cancer himself. After seeing my grandmother die so horribly, I don't think he wanted to go that way.

As I was putting together some pictures for our personal family blog of my Uncle with my mother and their other siblings as children, I was reminded that all of us start out as babes, with so much hope and so many dreams. I cried seeing my uncle in his little suit with the bow tie. He must have been about 4. I don't think he lived the life he imagined for himself. I don't think this is what his parents imagined for him either.

One of my cousins paid a beautiful tribute to him today. Her daughter is 3 weeks younger than my son, so I know the loss is immense for both of them.

Sometimes we forget how precious life is. We get caught up in the day to day grind and random drama of things, so I am taking this moment to thank you Pops, for always being there for us no matter what life has brought and although now you are no longer here with us physically, you and the joy and happiness you brought... to the lives of many will never be forgotten. Thank you for everything, I love you more than I could ever express!! You are my dad forever and always. I will cherish every moment we were blessed with for all eternity! E and I love you and miss you deeply!

Today, I am reminded that we are all known as different people to the various people we interact with in our lives. I know my Uncle as my uncle. And that has been wonderful, for the most part. But also complex.

I am deeply saddened by his death. But I also remember something I heard at another funeral, when a dear friend had killed himself. And somehow, that gives me solace.

His dearest friend stood before all of us and said, breaking up with sobbs, I have to respect your choice. And know that this was all you felt you had left for you. So I will - and I do - respect, your choice.

May it be so.

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