I’ve never really lost a loved one before. However, both of my mother’s parents died within days of each other, but while they lived in Jamaica, I was already living in the US. So they weren’t really the type of grandparents that everyone else may have experienced. To me they were just my mother’s parents. But we laid my uncle to rest last week and I experienced what it’s like to lose someone who you actually have memories with. My uncle went into the hospital with pneumonia and was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and only stayed with us 2 weeks after that. Losing someone tears at you, and sometimes it takes over all of your thoughts. And it seems like lately death is my default thought. I look at my husband, my daughter, my mother and my brother and it stings just thinking about not seeing them anymore. Having to say goodbye.
As somber of an occasion it was to see my uncle for the last time the date of his funeral was also my mother’s birthday and my cousin’s birthday (his son). So while we said goodbye in the morning we later prepared to celebrate that night. This was the first birthday since 2006 I have spent with my mother because college and work has kept me away and the tears that fell from her face that night as she cut her cake reminded me how I much I need to love the people in my life while I still have them.
I went bowling with my family that night even though I had a plane to catch a 6 a.m. and although I only got 1.5 hours of sleep in 24 hours I spent my time awake laughing crying and smiling with the people I love the most and no amount of sleep (and I love sleep) could top that.
So this is a reminder to love as hard as you can every chance you get, because you just never know.