yours, tiramisu

the fragility of all we hold dear

Yesterday during my brother's graduation my mom told me that her older brother (my uncle) was admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with late stage lung cancer.

I don't know exactly when this happened, but I think things haven't been good for a while now. My mom and her siblings are intentionally very vague; they haven't even told my grandparents. I understand not wanting to spook the parents but don't know if I agree. I know I would want to know as soon as possible if my firstborn were on death's doorstep.

My uncle's been smoking since before I was born, so it's not like we couldn't have foreseen this coming. But I think my grandpa doing the same without issue well into his eighties lulled us all into a false sense of security. The timing stunned me, not least because we found out at commencement. Learning that someone's in their last chapter while celebrating the ending of another feels especially cruel.

I was really looking forward to seeing my uncle again. I haven't seen him since the last time I visited, in 2010. Back then he'd sneak me and my brother out and let us get away with anything. Now instead of him showing me around town I'll be visiting him at the hospital.

"Life changes fast. Life changes in the instant. You sit down to dinner and life as you know it ends."

This morning I found out that he passed away overnight. He was only sixty-one. I hate when people say someone was "too young to die", because when is the right time for anyone to pass? But sixty-one? My parents will be that age soon.

I don't think I was close enough to my uncle to feel what people call grief — at least not the crippling, all-encompassing variant — but I do wish I got to see him again, even though I have no idea what I could possibly say that wouldn't pale in death's looming shadow. There's no way 2010 Misu knew he'd never get to see his favorite of mom's siblings again.

I like to think of the deaths of loved ones as reminders to not waste the gift of life. Go on, they seem to say with their last breath, do something that is befitting of this brief and beautiful life.

"I closed the box and put it in a closet.
There is no real way to deal with everything we lose."

(not one Didion quote today, but two)

#english #grief #wordvomit