Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Uncle Randy

I think I spent longer trying to title this post than I'll spend writing it...but what do you call a post that's about the passing of a loved one...or do you just not blog about it...

I'm sorry if this is a downer, I just needed a release and I guess this is my attempt at coping.

My uncle died yesterday morning.

Life seems to stop while you ask all the unanswerable questions. Then you move on to the events of the morning and try to figure out how it all happened. Then you go back to the questions. Then you plan and discuss everything from the funeral services to the house to the bills/cell phone/credit cards to the car and the truck...none of which really matters but has to be figured out at some point. More tears are produced than you thought possible, and just when you think you're ok something triggers more tears. And everyone just keeps thinking of more things that we need to work out.

All afternoon yesterday was spent talking about funeral service plans with Paul, who is handling the service with the mortuary he works for. He's so incredible, and I can't imagine figuring all the little details out with anyone else.

My uncle was single. The youngest of 3. Both his parents have passed, he has an older married sister (my aunt) with no kids, then my dad and mom and me and my 3 brothers. The Greenhalgh side is very small.

I spent 9 hours today with my dad getting everything scheduled, plot picked, times and locations booked, obituary written, finding pictures, practicing the song I'll be singing at the service...on and on...

It's strange how many things you can think of and wonder about when life is put on hold and you have to spend a couple days doing something you didn't want to do for many, many more years. It stops mattering for a few days that I really need to get my hair done, bridal pictures are postponed, my to-do list of wedding stuff that gets looked at 20+ times a day has been in my purse unopened for 2 days...

My uncle was a wonderful man. I think about the last conversation we had and try to remember every detail of it. The last I saw him was a couple weeks ago. I had a thought to call him and see if we could go to dinner. First and last time in my life that he and I ever had a uncle/niece dinner date and I'll never forget it. Red Robin in Layton. He had a chili burger with fries and water. I had a chicken sandwich with fries and water. He told me he was going to buy a new suit for my wedding. He joked about showing up in a rental car, just to throw me off...it's not funny to anyone but us, but we had a good laugh about it. When I insisted on paying because it was my idea, we decided it was a good deal because now he owed me dinner and we could start doing this more often.

He left us a note. Very short. Very simple. He said "Don't be angry or sad." The 2 emotions that seen to hit you the most in the beginning when you get the shocking phone call. I'm not angry anymore, but I'm sad. I went to his house today to get the clothes he left out on his bed and requested in the note to be buried in. My wedding invitation was opened and sitting on his counter. Things were left around, but very little to help put any closure to all of this, but maybe that's ok.

You tell yourself over and over that there's nothing you could have done differently, but in the same moment asking, how could I have changed things? Did he know that last time we were together and I should have picked up on something, but didn't? What must it all be like...numb to reality, emotional, painful, lonely...? Scary? Peaceful?

... ... ...

I love you Uncle Randy. This year when winter rolls around I think I'm gonna fall out a door onto a balcony full of snow, just for you. If a lotion person from Israel tries to stop me in the mall, I'll push their booth over. I'll cheer extra hard this year for our Seahawks. I'll try not to make fun of old people. And maybe I'll rent a car for your funeral. Thanks for being an amazing uncle to me for the past 29 years, it's sure been great being your favorite niece. I'll cherish every moment we had together. I hope heaven in fun and full of cowboy stuff, rodeos, horses, coconut cream pie, and people you love. I'll see you on the other side.

9 comments:

Melanie said...

I remember your Uncle Randy, sorry for your loss!

Kelly O. said...

I'm sitting here crying at work reading this. I am so sorry, Andrea. It sounds like you two shared a great relationship and one that will continue in the life hereafter. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Rin said...

This brought me to tears too! :( I'm so sorry, great post though. It's nice to read someone remembering someone they love.

Cat said...

Andrea, I'm so sorry. I'm praying for you and your family.

Jord and Jenn said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Hang in there. We will be thinking of you.

Randi said...

I love you and I'm always here for you.

Platt Family said...

I am very sorry to hear about your Uncles passing. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Kylee Jane said...

I think that was very sweet of you to write. I hope you rent a really nice car for the funeral.

SassyMonkey said...

so sorry to hear about this, andrea. when death comes so suddenly it's important to take the time to grieve, it's ok to put everything else aside for a while. I'll be thinking about you and your family. Take care, Eryn and Matt