G'bye, Dennis c. 2013



thoughts on a relative's passing, and on my own future.

Death, often, is unexpected.  But even when you know, it's not easy.  Dennis, nicknamed "D.H." passed away on December 2, 2013.  Rather than going overboard with my emotions, or running to the nearest gas station for a six pack of fuckitall (you know, beer), I allowed myself to breathe.  I took the time to sit still and simply let myself be free to feel the emotions that came about.  Which,  I'm sure it's understandable, I feel like the wind has been knocked out of my sails. I'm not speechless, but I have nothing to say, really. I've been real quiet at work, real quiet at home, just reading in the bible, watching reruns of Friends, Big Bang Theory, and Even Stevens.  But even still, I just don't have interest in anything, right now.

The only thought I entertain is when I got to hold D.H.'s fragile hand, look him in the eye, and say "g'bye, Dennis," before walking out of his room in intensive care.  That was the last time I got to see him alive. They said before he died, he was begging God to take him home. He was in so much pain and couldn't take anymore. Shortly after he pleaded with God, God granted him his wish.  Dennis was finally at peace.  As much as we don't like him being gone, we also understand how great his pain was, and we know he is definitely happier where he is. So...I cried because he is no longer in a place where I can see him, but I rejoice that there was place in Heaven prepared for another one of my loved ones.

Grief silences me.  I will have moments of gregariousness here and there, but generally I've been quiet. Even writing this isn't brought to you with a lot of enthusiasm.  I've just been sitting a lot, being pensive, looking far off, but at nothing in particular.  My mind is heavy with D.H.'s passing, concern for my fellow grieving family (and the glory of reuniting with lifelong family friends like Steve, Bubba, and Roger).  Also, just thinking about where I am going to find myself by the end of the coming year. Will I still be in Abilene at a low-wage job (that I adore, by the way)?  Will I be able to make the opportunity in Florida become a reality? Will I be a somewhat successful published writer?  Will I finally be getting to share my story with the world, and have ideas and tips that I can use to help others who are or where where I have been?  Would my dream of working a bit more closely with a beloved former Disney star on a book come true?  Are any of these things possible?

At this point in time, it doesn't seem to be relevant.

So...grief is different when you are surrounded by people who love you and share your pain.  I learned something, tonight...your family does care about you. And they forgive well, just as they make mistakes that need forgiveness.  If we are able to be forgiving of each other's errors, show them grace and love as God loves us and shows us grace, and come down to one another's level, come alongside each other and carry the burden of sadness we share during  this great loss, everything really does feel like it's going to be okay.

Oh, and Dennis?  I am still not going to cheer on your Redskins.  But believe you me, I ain't cheering for the Cowboys either, so you can rest easy knowing that.  Love you, and miss you, Uncle Dennis.

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