The inevitable

“Megan, your Dad just called.” Steven gently handed me the phone. I noted the missed call and the time. We knew he had called to give me sad news.

My Uncle Randy passed away last night at 8:30. He had been diagnosed with colon cancer in September of 2007. For nine months, he fought. Every family gathering, we were told that this was probably the last time we’d see him. And then the family would get together again, Randy included. Randy was still fighting and enjoying time with the people he loved. The last time we were all together was at Steven’s and my wedding.

He and Aunt Barbara had given us a blender for a gift, but he pulled Steven aside during the reception and pressed cash into his hand. Randy told him to use it on our trip to the beach. We did.

Steven sat with me last night. He kissed my forehead and said he was sorry. I was teary, but I had had time to prepare for this. I had really done a great deal of mourning back in September. I sat quietly for a few minutes. Steven sat with me. I talked a little about memories of Randy. I asked about what he had said when he pulled Steven aside at the reception. Steven talked with me. After a bit, he suggested I have some ice water and get into bed.

It is difficult to be with someone who has experienced loss. It is as though time for them is suspended, as the rest of the world buzzes about with its regular routine. Life goes on and on and on while they process what has been taken away. Things seem insignificant and petty compared to life and death. A good comforter listens, talks about what is significant within the suspended time of mourning, and sometimes offers basic physical needs that are easy to forget in those times. I was grateful for Steven last night.