loss, learning, and love.

It’s been awhile since my last post, a week to be exact. I apologize for the hiatus and the fact that on this particular Wednesday, you will not find five musical selections at the caitycakes blog.

To be honest, I haven’t been very sure of what to write or how to write it. To avoid posting anything that I might regret or that wasn’t genuine, I decided to not post at all. I’ve had many emotions and thoughts go through my body over the last few days and I wasn’t sure if I could write lucidly enough to share.

My family has experienced a loss, unexpected and sudden. My uncle passed away on Saturday at his home and since then I haven’t really known what to say. He was a man who I did not know very well, or perhaps just did not know enough.

What do you do when someone in your life is gone and all you’re left with are a few memories, both lucid and muddled, and you find yourself continually saying, “I wish”?

The man my uncle was, was a man of many layers. He was a brother to my aunt and my mother. He was a son to a wonderful, beautiful woman. He was an uncle to the best of his ability and I will never fail to credit him for remembering my birthday throughout my life, a feat that I cannot attest to other family members I have known.

As I sat in the funeral home today, looking at old pictures of him, I saw pictures of a man I never got to meet. Around my age, he was a model, a gorgeous man who, even in still photos, exuded something that many people do not possess. That something has no name, you just know when someone has it. By the time I was born, my uncle was ill. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he was often distant and departed when I saw him. He was all at once funny, sweet, and odd. Other times he was unrecognizable.

I have small memories of him from when I was very young, notably the time that he made a cardboard castle with me and my sister at my Nanny’s house. We kept that castle for a very long time.

Although I never had the chance to know him when he was young, I am so thankful I got to meet the people he knew in the few years before he died. Through all of their nice words, and the words of family members I have always known, I was painted a picture of a man who I never truly knew. From what I have gathered, he was a complicated man who was all at once brave, scared, strong, and soft.

I suppose that when anyone leaves your life, whether it be by choice or by some other force, you are always left with the “I wish”-es and the memories. That is something that will always remain true, no matter who that person is.

Despite me not knowing him very well at this point in my life, his death has made me sad. It has made me sad for the obvious reason of simply losing someone who is connected to you, by blood, by love, by life. It has made me sad to think of the fact that my Nanny has had to do the unthinkable and bury one of her children. It has made me sad to think that my mom has lost a sibling, as has my aunt, because I couldn’t imagine the feeling of losing my sister and with her a place for all the memories only we could share.

I hope that all of us take comfort in the fact that even when someone has gone, and you are left with all your thoughts, you still have them. It is up to you to keep their essence, their life, and their soul within you, where it always resided during times apart. Our bodies are simply vessels for so much more, and it is the so much more of the person that remains with us long after they have left.

I love my family. I love you all. And I promise I will keep the so much more of all of you during all my days.

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