Yesterday, twenty minutes before I had to go to work for a nine hour shift, my mother called to tell me that my uncle had passed away. Of course, the tears came immediately and stayed for a long while, even after I was at work. It was hard to make it through the day and even harder when I got home and had to deal with the emotions that I had tried to bottle up for those hours. My uncle was one of the good ones. He had a heart of gold and shared his wisdom with you when he thought it was necessary. He was the first to offer to do things or take me places when I visited them. They live in Las Vegas so I won’t even be able to make it out there to say goodbye to him, which is taking its toll on me pretty hard.
Death of one close family member brings not only new hurt and pain but also the hurt and pain of others we’ve lost comes bubbling back to the surface and creates a fresh wound on your heart. I’ve lost a lot of people who are close to me and for some of them, I carry a daily reminder on my body in the form of memorial tattoos, in hopes of never going one day without thinking about them and how much I loved them.
Posy Roberts, author of the North Star Trilogy, recently did a fabulous post about loss & grief. You can find that post here and it relays a lot of what I’m feeling right now.
I posted a status on facebook five minutes before I clocked in about how my heart was breaking and I didn’t even know what to say and I found out just how many people love and care about me. I had one of my best friends go so far as to text me several times throughout the day and call, leaving me a voicemail about how I was scaring her and I’d better call her back asap. That is the mark of true friendship, of having people who truly love and care about you. I posted on my author facebook and had so many people who don’t know me or my uncle offer their love, thoughts, prayers, and virtual hugs and I got messages of love and support from the people who I now count as some of my best friends.
This community of people is by far the best thing that could have happened to me. The pain, hurt, and overwhelming sense of helplessness for my family who are also hurting hasn’t waned in the slightest, but I take great joy in knowing that I have friends who care. Friends who’ve never met me, some who live half the world away. You guys help more than I could possibly express and I thank you for all your words and love. You know who you are.
I’d like to end this by saying this:
To my uncle, who I love and miss so much, I know this is only the end to one journey and the beginning of another. Take care of those up there who you are now with as you took care of us down here. You are truly one of the great ones and you will be missed more than words can possibly express. I love you forever ❤
RIP Uncle Skip