Ten days ago I lost my Uncle George (my dad’s oldest brother). Shock, disbelief, ugly crying (thanks to Vince Gill’s song Go Rest High on That Mountain), cycled through my body those first 72 hours. Then came steadiness because “dog gone it I’m a first born and I have cousins and a Grandma to support through the funeral.” Now that the funeral is over, I’m left with sadness. I’m sad because my Uncle was my pastor. He shepherded me through spiritual discussions on social justice and a woman’s place in church. And at 70 years of age, he was a progressive thinker who was not quick to judge as I sorted out my opinions on these subjects. He was eternally wise, and although his stories could be a bit long winded, if you hung on to the end, the kernel of truth would leave you pondering for days. I’m also sad because my Gram lost her first born child, and my cousins have lost both their parents. My mind and heart cannot comprehend those realities. So what do I do with my sadness and grief? Honestly, I’m not sure yet, except to feel it. To feel it and walk through it. Because when I have stuffed my emotions (usually through eating my), things don’t work out so well. As I start each day and I recognize the grief is there, I will acknowledge it’s prescience. I will write about it when I need to write about it, and pray about it when I need to pray about it. And when I think about Uncle George, I’ll give as much space to his humor and impish grin as I do to feelings of loss & grief. And when needed, I will support my family as with humor and strength. (And maybe the occasional cussing session).
I love you Uncle George!