On the cusp of a new year

I spent today bidding farewell to more than just a year. This afternoon was my uncle's funeral. For my immediate family it wasn't a sad day, however. We had already been there, done that.

Instead I used it as a chance to observe those around me. It struck me how one person can be so incredibly different depending on who views them and when. I know part of this is the "funeral phenomenon." When someone dies, only the good stuff remains in the audible memory. However, I also know my uncle. I know he had more than the normal desire to be liked. His way to ensure it was to 'make them like me' by being the sweet, kind, gentle man. It's not completely the man he was when he could careless what you thought of him. And that statement still does not sum it up totally, but I'll let it rest with him tonight.

I spent the rest of my afternoon meeting cousins I never knew I had. I spent the time getting to know my brother's girlfriend a little better - even though we went to High School together I never really knew her before. I spent my time wondering if you got in trouble for bringing your own bingo balls to the game (don't ask) and what all those prayer cards amassing at the front of the room were for. What can I say, sometimes I am easily amused.

As for telling my son, it went much better than I had expected and/or could have hoped for. I'm too tired from the day to rehash it now - suffice it to say it involved the notion that Uncle M had a talk with God and the two decided that yes, today was a good day to go to Heaven. It involved a few tears and it involved some discussion as to whether or not there were toys in Heaven. He's only mentioned the death once since then.

He asked Daddy how we got to Heaven. Daddy started to answer and Logan interrupted. "No, I think Mommy was right. God says 'Poof!' and like magic we're gone and up in Heaven."

I never said anything quite like that to him, but it's working so we're going with it.


Stephanie Davies said...

I think that is so sweet what you told your son. I haven't had to have a discussion with mine about death yet, but when I ever do, I hope you don't mind but I think I will borrow your idea and say that, as it makes a lot of sense to me :)

I myself have been to far too many funerals, and it is never an easy thing, no matter how close or not so close you were to the person. It is such a surreal experience I think. I hope when I die it is a celebration of my life and not a mourning of my death.

You have such a talent for writing things down, and I really loved reading your blog. I wish you nothing but the best in the coming year. Michele sent me tonight, and I'm glad I came!

Paul Sveda said...

My condolences to you and your family in this time of loss. Its good to hear that you can hang on to the positive memories of the man to see you through this time. May I wish your uncle a peacfull rest and Gods strength to you and yours in the New Year.

All the best.

callie said...

my thoughts are with you at the end of this year & the beginning of a new one. may it bring you much comfort and happiness.

here from michele's...

kontan said...

i'm glad it went well telling your son.

have a blessed new year.