So lately I’ve been thinking a lot about death. Not my own. But just my loved ones who have passed on and who are aging. I recently lost my Great Uncle Tom, I hadn’t spent much time around him in the last 15 years or so, other than seeing him in town or at our family reunion. His funeral shook me a bit though. He was my Grandfather’s brother. And looking at him was like looking at my Papa… I was 7 when my Papa died, he was my best friend and the first person I ever lost. It absolutely devastated me when it happened.
My Papa and Granny Davis cared for me in the summers when my parents were working. And I did absolutely everything with my Papa. We would go haul rocks in his hush puppy truck. It was an old chevy pick up with a hush puppy dog on the driver’s side door. It was mint green and white and I LOVED riding in that truck with him. We went to Hardee’s for a chili dog and Dr Pepper several times a week, and we went to Johnny Roddy’s dime store afterwards so he could get me a small toy or sometimes even a big one. We worked in the yard together and in my eyes he was so spectacular. I still remember learning in my 20’s that he could not read or write anything except for his name, but when he “read” to me as a child…those were some of the most magical moments of my childhood. His nickname for me was “puddin” and I will always hold him dear to my heart. He was a wonderful soul and loved by so many people…I am so thankful for the brief years that I had with him.
And seeing my Uncle Tom, it definitely brought back a lot of those memories and feelings that I’ve sort of pushed back to stop the pain. Which we all know does not work.
So all of this brought up some conversations with my husband about our loved ones. Do they hold on for us? Do they need our permission to pass? It sure seems like they hold on sometimes for those words, or for forgiveness.
My husband has only lost a few people who were very dear to him…one of those shook him pretty badly. But it got me to thinking, since I experienced my first devastating loss at such a young age and then so many more after that, that it’s sort of sadly, become my normal.
We were talking about when my Mom passed on, and I told him about how the nurses at the hospital had told us to tell her it was ok to go. I held out about doing it. Even though she was in a coma, hadn’t spoken for weeks, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. The night I did, my cousin, Ryan and I went to see her really late….we both told her it was okay and that we loved her….she died about 15-20 minutes later. My Dad had already told her, her cousins/best friends had, my brother had. I was the hold out.
When my Granny Davis died, we had loads of drama leading up to her passing due to her significant other, who might as well be lucifer himself. Her last day on Earth, she was pulling tubes out of her mouth to try to apologize to me for all that had happened with her boyfriend. When I told her I forgave her and it was ok, she passed within a few hours.
When my brother passed away…he had spent 26 agonizing days in the hospital. We had argued, we had laughed and we had prayed for things to get better. About the 2nd week he was in the hospital he tried to tell me that he knew he was dying. I told him he was full of it and to shut up….we argued, we didn’t speak to each other for a few days. The day after Christmas they told us he would die soon, that they couldn’t do anything else for him. He asked for my forgiveness for the things he had done to me and I gave it to him. He died the next day.
When my Aunt Sunnie passed…Whitley and I saw her in the hospital during her last couple of days. Those of you who knew her knew she was not an outwardly affectionate person. She was a sweet lady but in my 40 years she never expressed love with words or really even hugs. 2 days before she passed when Whit and I were there, she kissed me on the cheek and told me she loved me. Then she was gone.
And when I think about my husbands grandmother passing when we were dating. I remember he would say he really needed to go visit her in the nursing home. When he finally went to see her, she died within a few days.
So is it real? or is it just a coincidence? It really does make one wonder. And then I look back at all the people I’ve lost, and it’s insane and each one is a little broken part of me that I’m trying to put back together. I’ve allowed loss and grief to consume my world in so many ways. It really is time to put the puzzle of me back together again…