Adieu, Mon Cherie

24 12 2011

I awoke this morning, thinking of my uncle. There is an old black and white photograph of my aunt and uncle hanging on their bedroom wall. It was taken on their wedding day, both of them young, my uncle the handsome Frenchman, my aunt, the beautiful, young bride. As I awoke, I was thinking that I wanted to talk to my aunt about getting a copy of the photo. I was hoping she could scan it for me.

Suddenly, something told me my uncle was gone.

I’m no psychic. As I’ve watched my uncle deteriorate over the past four months, there have been many times when I found myself bracing myself for the moment of his death, but this felt different and more imminent. Based on the information I had regarding his condition–on Tuesday, he had been diagnosed with pneumonia–I knew that this time the voice in my head was most likely correct.

A half an hour later the phone rang and I was told he was gone.

After trying to help with his care for two months, I was not there when he died. I am in Seattle for Christmas. I wanted to try to make Christmas as normal for my boys as possible, and, knowing my uncle’s condition, I had decided that if he was still with us on Monday, the 26th, I would drive to Eastern Washington to be with him.

My uncle never really liked Christmas very much. His father had passed away on Christmas. Somehow it seems appropriate that my uncle would make his exit before suffering through one…more…Christmas…holiday.

The photo above is from another wedding day. That’s my uncle and I rehearsing the hand-off from him to my groom. K2 is standing in for STBex during the rehearsal. I prefer to remember my uncle as he was here with his dry, sarcastic sense of humor,  evident here as we’re all turned looking toward him and laughing.

I wish I had something more profound to say at this moment, but the words won’t come.

Adieu, mon cherie.

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4 responses

24 12 2011
laurie

I’m so sorry!

24 12 2011
Rick B

I am sorry for your loss, but know that you were a great comfort to him near the end… Merry Christmas.

24 12 2011
Julie

No words can take away the pain you are experiencing right now. Only know that your friends love you and will be there in any way to help you through the grieving process, for no matter how “prepared” we think we are when death occurs it takes its toll on us.

24 12 2011
Kathy D

I’m so glad you were able to be there for him as much as you were. I think it wasn’t just the prospect of missing another Christmas for him. I think he was sparing you the grief he experienced by losing a loved one on Christmas Day as well as sparing you the grief of being there when it happened.

Love you.

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