Losing someone is probably one of the more surreal experiences of human existence. With the recent loss of my uncle I have been even more reflective on the process of letting go and saying good bye.
It takes our brains a while just to process the very idea of someone no longer being in our lives. When I was initially told he was gone I spent the next few hours just trying out the sound of the words, “he is dead”. It sounded so final and I was struggling with that very thought. It meant that I had to integrate this huge concept of him no longer being not only in my life, but living at all.
I was okay that day because it was still a concept. A foreign idea that needed time to really sink in. My main sadness was for his family and how they must be struggling.
The next day I was not okay. I knew he was dead and that there was no return. The idea that this is a natural part of our existence just seemed to make it all feel so much more confusing. I had a hard time wrapping my head around what was making me so sad.
At first I thought it was all of things he would miss out on. I thought I was grieving his loss. Instead I realized my grief was for the physical loss I felt. The removal of him from my life, my cousins life, his wife’s life and all of the other lives he had touched. The hole that was left be his dying.
I started to really feel the hole that this loss made. He would never again be a part of any of my new experiences. I only had the past. Memories of him kept bubbling to the surface. Memories that had formed my understanding of him as a man and the place that he held in my life. I also saw how he was a part of my foundation and was intertwined with the very core of my being.
As I explored this hole I also started to feel grateful. I could honour him by continuing to live in a way that was meaningful. He wasn’t as gone as I had thought because I had a part of him with me forever. I could nourish those parts and carry them on to my family and the people around me. I can share who he is by being me.
The hole now feels a little less gaping and more a space that I will hold and treasure. It is his place and I have no need to fill it.
Good bye is still painful and I know there are still many tears to fall but I am okay to move forward. I can support those around me now and be there as they find their own way.
So sorry to hear of the loss of your uncle, Talia. Sounds like it was fairly sudden. Hugs to you & yours. Love Judy
Thank you Judy.