My Uncle E passed away last Tuesday evening. He left behind a widow and four children. He was 60 years old. Now here’s the kicker: He didn’t smoke, he didn’t drink much, he exercised, he watched his diet, he was retired but actively worked in his church, he was happy. All it took was one bad fall, rupturing a blood vessel in his brain, putting him in a coma for a few days and finally ending his life so very abruptly, like a light went of with a flick of the switch. He did not even say goodbye.
At the funeral my Aunt E told me Uncle E had got a lot of outstanding matters to take care of. There are some insurance matters for some long time clients. There are some church administrative errands. In fact, there are even unfinished sentences on documents on his desk at the church office.
But there’s more. He had got to see the eldest some get married. He had got to attend the graduations of his youngest two girls. He had got to walk them down the aisle and give them away. He had got to play with his grand kids. He had got to service his church for a couple more years at least. He had got to spend more time with alone time with the wife (as all the kids are finally away from home for school and work). He had got so much ahead of him. For God sake he was only 60 years old.
It is so unfair, so wrong.
Of course being fair or not, right or wrong is so immaterial now. It’s utterly insignificant. What’s the point anyway? He’s gone. Period. Debating fairness and righteousness only stokes the anguish and rage of we feel losing him. Therefore why bother?
My Aunt E told me that Uncle E was a joker, always pulling her leg and making her laugh. Yes indeed. Uncle E was my fun uncle. He might not be the life of the party but he had this charisma that gravitate people towards him. He always managed to crack up a joke and put a big grin on everyone’s face. Why don’t we remember as he was, a mischievous jolly fella’ with a big heart.
I used to call him Silver Fox Richard Gere, because he was tall, fair, had a head of grey hair and an endearing smile, like the actor. As he was laid to rest in the cascade, without the grey hair since he was shaved bald for surgery, he looked exactly just like Richard Gere, bald Richard Gere, bald and peacefully asleep Richard Gere, bald and peacefully asleep Richard Gere with that trademark smile.
Rest in peace, Uncle E. I’ll miss you.