I have written, and re written this post so many times. I can never seem to get it right; but maybe it’s not suppose to be perfect. Maybe something like this is impossible to put to words.
The Dream Home has been quiet lately as you’ve probably all noticed. And for that I apologize. It’s been a rough few weeks for us. I want to tell you all about it, but don’t know if I will make it through this post if I do.
It all started at the beginning of November, when my Uncle Joe was in a single vehicle accident. He blacked out behind the wheel and ended up in the woods. His car was totaled. An officer drove him home after he refused medical attention. Those closest to him noticed a significant difference with his temperament, personality and memory. And eventually a few days after his accident he was taken to the hospital by his step father to finally be examined.
His scans showed bleeding in the brain, a tumor had caused the black out, causing the accident. Naturally my family rallied together and did everything we could to help him. His sister flew in to stay with him, she cooked for him, drove him to appointments, sat with him almost every night when he couldn’t sleep. We took turns visiting, bringing him treats (pudding mainly), and just being there for him.
The doctor performed a biopsy of the tumor. He needed to determine if it was cancerous or not. We had no treatment plan as we sat and waited for results that ultimately never came. On November 24, he was gone. He was 53 years old.
I think what upsets me most is the distance I allowed between us. He lived only minutes from me and I only saw him a few times a year. He used to tease me so bad sometimes that I thought he hated me, was disappointed in me, embarrassed by me. But in the days after his death, while spending time inside his home, and going through his belongings, I learned that wasn’t the case. He had every photo of me he was ever given. Pictures of my children, stories and memories he had shared with his friends and family that were filled with pride.
Grief is not linear. I was told that recently. It is a circle, a ring of emotions. You may find your world ending one day, and the next day you feel like you have come to terms with what’s happened. But that doesn’t mean that the following day you wont wake up to crumbling walls again. There are days when I have to push him out of my mind, because I just don’t have the time or energy to grieve. Then there are times, when my kids are in bed, and its quiet, and dark that I let him seep in. His face, his voice, my favorite memories of him. I have to let myself feel it. The lose, pain, overwhelming sadness, I let it all in.
I spent a great deal of my life feeling sorry for my Uncle Joe. I looked at him, and his life, and believed it to be empty. He was not married, no kids, lived alone. And I always pitied him. But in those final days, and even after, I am mad at myself for thinking that way. He passed away with a room filled with family, holding him and loving him. During his service, there wasn’t even enough seats to accommodate all the people he had touched within those 53 short years. And there was a moment during the service, where it was brought to our attention that Joe had something not many ever live to have, peace. He was content with himself. “Those who fly solo have the strongest wings”
I don’t know if there will ever be a right or wrong way to say goodbye. I don’t know if he is watching over us, or hears me when I talk to him. I hope he can. I hope he knows everything I am feeling and thinking. I hope he sees my daughter drag her “Joey Bear” to bed with her every single night. I hope he is reunited with his mother, and his lost pets, and mine for that matter. I hope one day I see him again. But until that day, I will do my absolute best to make him proud.
Rest in peace Uncle Joe – you will be forever loved and missed xo