But He Will Be Missed

“It’s okay. He had been suffering a long time.”

I’ve said the words so many times this past week they’ve become a reflex and I wonder if I really mean them, if I ever meant them.

No, I did. And I do. But I’ve come to realized that a tiny voice in my mind has started to add, “But he will be missed.”

My uncle was a good person who never intentionally hurt anyone. Unfortunately he made some poor choices in his life that hurt himself, and I don’t think he ever realized how much it did hurt us to see him struggle. It irked the shit out of me to see him make huge strides toward a better life only to blow it all on another bad choice. In recent years he had finally showed consistent progress but I think I’d been subconsciously concentrating on what he had done that made me angry when he got sick because it’s easier to be mad than sad.

My uncle’s battle with End Stage Liver Disease ended last Monday.

It’s okay. He had been suffering a long time.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

At least until my bitch of a brain betrays me as it often does, and the memories came floating through.

Memories of my uncle making me pancakes when I was in elementary school and then me telling him that he couldn’t move away because who would make them for me when he left.
Of taking my grandmother and me to dinner at the restaurant in Virginia where he got his first job as a chef.
Of introducing me to “Interview with a Vampire”.
Of watching UFC matches at P.J. Whelihan’s and drinking Smithwick’s which I had never had before.
Of taking the injured gosling I had saved to the wildlife rescue because I couldn’t miss work to take it there. (He named it Matilda because she/he had a broken leg and “tilted”.)
Of going to see the Flyers.
Of watching my brother and him ride the roller coasters at Great Adventure.
Of him whispering that I looked beautiful as he passed me on his way to the podium to read at my wedding.

I tried to ignore them all, but grief is the piper who insists on being paid.

So it’s okay. He had been suffering a long time.

But he will be missed.

my uncle and me

 

19 thoughts on “But He Will Be Missed

  1. I am so very sorry, kat. This is a hell of a tribute and I love that picture.

    Hang in there. At least he’s not suffering but I know you miss him.

    Deep hell of a hug

  2. Grief is a process that’s been belittled and shunned in recent years – “everyone deals with tragedy” and “we’re so desensitized” excuses are a-plenty, and it makes me so mad. If people don’t learn to reflect and try to heal in a healthy way, it only causes more problems and heartache…

    … so, if anything, I think it’s great you’re taking time to let us see your uncle in a positive light despite his circumstances. Because, well, I think we all want to be remembered for those things. And don’t worry about people who say cliche things to make you feel better… I think we’re all awkward in times of loss and tragedy, and we really don’t know what else to say. But know we’re thinking of you and your family.

    • I know that everyone feels awkward about what to say about a death, but I do appreciate that most people are genuinely being supportive. This is a weird occasion where I’m the bereaved and am saying things that sound dumb.

      Thank you so much, my dear Celia.

  3. Aw, this made me tear up. I’ve found that even though you are relieved for someone to have an end to their suffering, it does not take away the grief. You are still left with a hole. You did a beautiful job of showing the impact he had on your life. So sorry that he had to go through what he did. Hugs to you!

  4. Sweetums, you know that my thoughts and prayers were (and still are) with you. This was a beautiful tribute to your uncle and a lovely reminder of all the good times. Even when loved ones have moved on to a better place with no pain we still miss and remember them; it’s as it should be. Love you!

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