I’ve had mixed emotions all week about this situation. I went from being pissed off to disappointment. Then this morning, I woke up with a profound sadness.
It’s not like this emotion is new to me. I’ve felt it way too often in the past 3 years; most recently when my cousin passed away unexpectedly. But this sadness feels different. It’s touching a nerve that I thought didnt exist anymore.
Early this morning, my uncle passed away. Although I knew this moment would come, I don’t think we’re ever prepared to deal with the loss of someone so close to us. Writing out my feelings about them was very cathartic. Yet my uncle’s passing leaves me genuinely heartbroken. He’s one of the last ties I have to my pops. Looking at their lives, I see diverging paths. Yet in death, it’s weird how alike they were.
Watching a loved one deteriorate from cancer is an experience I wouldn’t wish on anyone. My uncle, like most, had good days and bad days. But his bad days turned him into a complete stranger. He was normally boisterous, full of jokes, and griping about how FL ain’t shit. Your typical Jamaican father. These last few months, cancer had sucked that joy out of him. On Friday, I walked into the hospital not knowing what to expect. All I could think of was what I’d say to my aunt to somehow comfort her. I know my aunt wanted more time, more love, and more life to share with him. However, something in her didn’t allow her to be that selfish. I’ve come to realize that to love someone through sickness is to respect their wishes, even if you don’t understand or agree.
SB: As a man, I feel like we don’t celebrate the women in our lives enough. They’re often able to handle situations that many of us succumb to or ignore altogether. I’m honored and humbled to be surrounded by women who are lead by their faith and courage.
The ventilator and dialysis machines were turned off Friday evening a little before 8. Despite visiting hours being over, the nurses let us stay an extra 30 minutes. The quiet hissing from the oxygen machine was the last piece of my uncle we had. All I could do was pray for a painless transition.
Waking up this morning to find out he passed, I couldn’t help but to feel the deja vu of saying goodbye to my pops. You never make peace with certain people you lose. You simply accept the fact that you have to connect with them in a different way.