Death is not a self-contained adventure. It has many parts and is threaded through many souls. This Saturday, thousands of miles from me, my uncle died. We were not close in even an emotional sense though he was my Godfather and one of the last links to my own father physically on this earth. I can not forget the hurts nor the joys of what we were to each other. Patched in days barely perceivable through our lives. But there was connection. Real palatable connection.
What are these bonds, spiritual and familiar, that unite and communicate in ways unseen, unheard. The anxiety that made me shake and dizziness that made me stop while he was in his last hours here. They were real and not explained as I did not know he was dying. There were other things too out of place that day-hinting that something was happening.
The power went out. All stopped for over an hour and sitting outside listening the night and feeling its breezes felt distant and foreign. As though someone demanded this darkness and didn’t want to be alone. I remember thinking how this was important. Stopping and being just feeling human and not being distracted. But there was a fear too of the lights staying off forever. I dismissed it as a foolish thing, light would return. It did. Then the call came that my uncle Jeff had died around the time the power failed.
My memories of a man of great humor and deep pain. Women loved him and men too. Uncle Jeff was charming and silly. There are other things I remember about him, things that made it impossible to be close to him. Some of that was his indifference and other parts to do with my father. My uncle had a rough time letting go and held pain deeply within to his detriment. When I last saw him he reminded me so of my father as he let his sadness show. I wished things were different, more time and less distance. Life is far too brief not to love someone. I love my uncle Jeff.
Uncle Jeff’s death has caused a deep seeping sadness. For part of me goes with him and passes away forever. I feel the connection now, maybe because it is lost to time, or maybe because the barriers are gone. I feel the loss of my grandparents, my childhood, my father all over again. I didn’t expect him to die now and I didn’t expect to feel this way. I’m surprised at the strength of this grief that he leaves behind in the wake of his death. Eternal rest grant unto to him and may Your perpetual light shine upon him.