I never imagined I’d be faced with death again so soon; like, this life is mad. Actually mad. How can you see someone one night and then the next day they’ve dropped dead – with no warning at all?
When I learned that my Uncle Dale had died yesterday, shock hit me like a slap in the face and I didn’t know how to feel. Why was this happening to me again? Why was I being faced with another shock death in just under a year? Why, why, why? I mean, I could not understand it, as I’d just seen him last night at another one of my uncles’ houses.
My Uncle Dale was full of laughter, jokes and conversation, with eyes that twinkled like my beloved grandad, whose own death last year continues to feel surreal to me. Like my grandad, he also told the famous “Burton jokes” and had a kind heart.
Each year, he was one of my uncles who regularly remembered my birthday and gave me a card, or just some money, because he wanted to give me something. Unfortunately, I think I took that for granted, but I appreciate it so much now that he’s gone.
My uncle also had a special place in my life because he was my mum’s “twin”. Although there were three years between them, they happened to be born on the same day. Imagine, ten children and two of them just happen to be born on the same day – how weird and amazing is that? I’m so grateful for the time we were able to spend with him at our house this year when he and my mum celebrated their birthdays together, which was something we had done for the first time. That is going to be a memory I’ll now cherish forever.
I’ll miss my Uncle Dale greeting me with, “Hello Shani” and a kiss on the cheek, asking how I am and engaging in conversation at times. I’ll miss his generosity and I’ll miss his presence at family gatherings – he truly was unique.
Although I don’t understand and struggle to comprehend why he was taken so suddenly and so soon, God knows what He’s doing and I’ve just got to trust in that. Now my Uncle Dale is soundly asleep, resting away from this cruel world, but I hope to see him on that great day when my Jesus comes again and I can embrace him and my grandad together.
I don’t think I told you this Uncle Dale when you were alive, but I love you and always will. May you rest in peace.