Sorry again for the late timing (and brief nature) of this post, it has been an emotional week with the semi-unexpected passing of my uncle. Long story short, I use the term “semi-unexpected” because my uncle has battled an addiction to alcohol for many years and although he was experiencing a decline in the last few years, his death still seemed to come too soon.
My husband and I attended his funeral yesterday, surrounded by his family and friends, including his wife and 20 year old son. The service included pictures, stories, memories of our time with this uncle, who was undoubtedly the favorite of myself and all of my cousins. Even before he had a son of his own, he was always organizing outings for his nieces and nephews, including hayrides with Santa, walking to the “secret pond” for ice skating, teaching us card games, taking us fishing/swimming at the beach; you could ask any niece or nephew and we’d probably all have a different favorite memory (and there are 15 of us)!
Since becoming a parent to Peanut, the way that I process emotions when someone close to me passes away has completely changed and massively intensified. I find myself not only mourning and remembering the deceased as their relation to me, but as their relation to their own children. I’m thinking that I’ve lost my uncle but my cousin has lost his parent, segue into thinking about Peanut growing up without a parent while pictures of my uncle and cousin flash on a screen and it’s waterworks from there on out. I also participated as a pall bearer during the service, and the symbolism of “walking” with my uncle was emotional as one of Peanut’s favorite words/activities is “walk.”
During the priest’s homily, he made a reference to death not being the entry point to heaven. The idea was to surround yourself with love, happiness and faith in order to achieve heaven, right here on earth. This idea really resonated with me, as I feel it is an important lesson to teach Peanut as she gets older. Starting today, I woke up and thanked God for giving me another day and when I go to bed tonight, I’ll thank Him again. I know there will be days when it isn’t always easy to feel thankful, but with my husband and Peanut and surrounded by friends and family, my uncle’s last lesson won’t be lost.