This post is brought to you by something I wrote in a great (weird, as per usual) conversation between myself and the eminently worthwhile Charity6201: But of all the thinks my thoughts have thunk, none have thunk such thinky thoughts as the thinks that thought they’d thunk…
My uncle passed away the other night and his funeral was today. I was told he most likely passed in his sleep, and I hope so as I can think of no greater blessing…though suddenly finding a spare million or two of those pretty green dollars wouldn’t be far behind.
That faction of my family lives hours away now, and when I was a kid, too, so I wasn’t raised close, figuratively or literally, to most of them. In every family you have those who you’re just naturally bond with, though.
I was close to this uncle. He was a weird one, no doubt about it, and the man had an opinion on anything where an opinion could be had…but he had a good heart, a good soul, and an odd sense of humor. Ya gotta love an odd sense of humor…
He left most of a leg and part of his heart in Viet Nam, but spread his generosity and odd joie de vivre wherever he could. He wasn’t supposed to die yet – he was supposed to hang out another 20 years slowly rolling along on this mudball speeding through space, but I don’t guess he got that memo.
The funeral passed without me. I’m not one to need to see the empty body of a loved one being lowered into the dirt, and I’d vastly prefer to remember what he looked like when he still resided IN that body, so the visitation got a nope, too. My mom’s funeral will be the last one I attend until my dad’s time comes.
I’ll remember his voice, the way he smelled, his laugh, his tears when his oldest son died unexpectedly. I’ll remember his rude jokes and his packrat tendencies and how much it pleased him to invite people over for dinner or out for lunch on his dime.
He always had a way of making people feel genuinely welcome in his life, and that is a true gift so many lack. He knew the value of passing the time together, of sharing a big meal and a big laugh. He knew how to be “there” when it counted, how to sit together quietly as well as how to bullshit over a coffee.
Why would I want to see the body he used to live in lowered into the cold, cold ground when I have all these great memories warming my heart?
I can’t blame him for going on home although I might have a little something to say about it the next time I see him, but I’m glad he’s hanging out now with his father and his son, and with his mother lost so long ago.
He’s golden, my uncle, and he’s hale and hearty and whole.
Future chapters may be delayed a little bit as I process all of this. Loved ones just aren’t supposed to die, but they have, they do, and they will. Love them well while you share a realm with them. Once they’re gone it’s likely to be a damn long time till you see them again.