Thursday, April 21, 2011

About my uncle

Hi Everyone,

My uncle passed away last night, and I'm finding I really need to write about it a little, so I apologize to the ICLWers visiting here for the first time and coming across my sad post. 

This all seems to have happened so fast.  My aunt didn't want us to know how serious it was, so up until about 2 weeks ago I thought he was sick but doing well with treatment.  Then, in an instant, I find out he's dying and has about 6 months to live.  A day later, this jumped to, "they've stopped chemo and set up hospice in the house" -- the meaning, it could be any day now. 

Two days ago, the hospice nurse told my aunt it would be maybe 24 hours.  My mom couldn't take being so far away anymore, and not being able to speak to my aunt (who is refusing to speak on the phone to anyone), and with some frequent flyer help from her brother, she hopped on a plane with other sister and they flew to be by my aunt's side.  Unfortunately, their flight was so long yesterday that they just missed saying good bye to my uncle by literally minutes.  It was almost exactly 24 hours after the announcement from the hospice mom had just checked into the hotel and was on her over to the house. 

Last night I cried a little, but mostly I felt numb, detached.  I haven't seen my uncle (my mother's brother-in-law) in years.  I'm so close to my mom's other siblings and their spouses, but my aunt and uncle on the West Coast have been so far away for so many years.  They'd chosen a different way of life, becoming devout, Orthodox Jews, and it had put a huge strain on their relationship to everyone else in our secular, Reform Jewish family.  All the same, I was thrilled when my aunt managed to make it to my wedding (almost 2 years ago, and the last time I saw her).  Her husband had to stay back with the kids, who had school, but she flew out, said nothing of my non-traditional wedding or my marriage outside the faith, and even participated in the ceremony with a look on her face of excitement and love for me.  I knew then, that regardless of the space between us, or differences in our views, she is still my aunt, she loves me, and she will always be there for me. 

This morning I've cried some more, cuddled the cat, talked to my mom, and teared up again.  They are burying him right away, according to Jewish law, but due to the Passover holidays the mourning period will not be starting till next week (which I find odd, but I understand is their custom).  My head is filled with thoughts of my young cousins, who will not get to see their dad on their graduation day, or hold his arm down the aisle at their weddings.  They will never hear his voice again, or feel his hugs.  They are now fatherless, and it seems a terrible crime that has been committed against them. 

To my uncle:  We disagreed, argued, and disagreed some more, but you were my family and I miss you. 
To my aunt and my four beautiful cousins: I wish I could be your safe harbor right now, and I feel as useless as a person can feel.  I'm locked away in my own tower, pretending to live a normal life while yours crumbles all around you.  I'm so sorry.  May you find comfort in the coming days, may your friends and family bolster and soothe you, may you learn to laugh and smile again.  I love you.


  1. Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and your family.

  2. I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  3. Thinking of you and your family and so sorry for your loss.

  4. i'm so sorry you and your family are having to survive this right now.

    when you're feeling more up to it and if you do the blog award thing, i gave you over at my blog.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. **HUGS**

  6. Sorry dear. That just sucks. No getting around it.

    Thinking of you.


  7. I'm sorry for your loss and especially sad that your mother missed saying goodbye by minutes. And to his kids. Hugs to all of you.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. Thinking of you and your family.

  9. I am so sorry for your loss:( Thinking of you. It is so hard when anyone in our circle passes away. My brother passed away of a heart attack about three years ago leaving his wife and two young boys. It breaks my heart:(

  10. Oh Kerri, It is so hard to lose a loved one. Sending you some extra love.