Not always ducky

Would life be different if each of us knew the exact number of days we had on this earth? Would we schedule our time differently? Would we value people more and things less? Would we play it safe or take more risks? Would there even be such a thing as a risk? Life is full of unknowns. And the moments leading each of us to where we are now are never guaranteed tomorrow. We know that. So how come it’s such a painful shock to our system when someone we know and love is taken away without notice?! Because most of us don’t live our days carrying around such arduous and dismal thoughts. But then death happens and we feel robbed. That instant feeling of sadness is unfair. Life is unfair. Death is so unfair.

We lost my uncle yesterday. Unexpectedly. I won’t say that a loss when someone has aged or their health is failing is any less hard. But the words that follow an unpredicted state are mind-numbing and heavy. Your mind immediately starts reflecting. Fast and furious. And you’re left with a yin yang of emotions. My Uncle Doug, the husband of my mother’s older sister, was a funny man. As I’ve grown older, he hasn’t been a routine part of my life for quite some time. But I have fond memories of him. Ones that date back to when I was a young girl and referred to him as Uncle Ducky because I couldn’t quite say Uncle Dougie. Not always ducky As an adopted child I often struggled with a sense of belonging and a close relationship with my family. But my uncle would remind me that my parents picked me, making my presence a little more special than all the others {cousins}. He always had something positive and complimentary to say to me every time I saw him. And he could make me giggle without hesitation. His smile truly glistened and his infectious laugh was fiercely identifiable. I will miss that. Because that’s exactly how I remember him.

Most of my grief isn’t so much wrapped up in my own emotions as it is for my mother. My heart aches for her. My aunt. And their family. The people who are the closest and the most touched by the loss of his presence. Sympathy is an alliance of vulnerability. And death brings that communion of weakness together, serving as a pillar of support for those who need it most. It’s the marking of a life lost but it’s also an element of a life lived. It swiftly reminds each of us to put a little extra caution in our words, our thoughts and our actions. And to appreciate our moments with love. In the midst of devastation; we call attention to our own existence, our own purpose and our own intent. A deliberate act that is inherently a part of God’s entire plan. Because what else has the capacity to slow us down? Make us reflect? Change our perspective? And inspire us to live well? Life goes on. It always does. But if we don’t allow ourselves to pause every now and then, we will never capture the essence of a life well lived.

 

 

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