A tribute

I usually confine my blog to writing-related matters. It’s a learning-to-write blog, after all. But sometimes there’s that yearning to express something more personal, and I’m lucky to have a forum where I can share my thoughts.

Today was the funeral of my beloved uncle Tim. He was 82, and had been in deteriorating health in recent times, but his passing was sudden and came as a shock to everyone because he was one of those people you expect to be around forever. A rock, a Grown Up. He was a true gentleman, a great musician, a kind person to everyone he could do a good turn for. When we were kids, we thought he was the coolest because he called us all “Tiger”. I’m still not sure why. So it was a funeral I very much wanted to attend, but unfortunately I couldn’t because I’m isolating after close contact with two relatives who have tested positive for Covid. We saw each other briefly over the weekend, trying to absorb the news together. Like me, they also had to watch the livestream of the funeral on YouTube instead of being there in person to support the bereaved family. It’s incredibly frustrating, but I hope they could feel our love and support from a distance, at least.

Family funerals often bring back memories of my own father’s passing 19 years ago, at the age of 59. The sense of loss never goes away, though I suppose it at least gives you empathy for anyone going through it because you know full well how difficult it is. Many fond jokes have been made over the past few days about the heavenly party the reunited siblings must be having, because they were extremely close all their lives. Five out of six have now gone. They were a family who loved fun and sing-songs, especially my dad Ber. He was extremely shy, but could be persuaded to sing his party piece Old Shep for his nearest and dearest, such was the degree of trust. Someone would always add accompanying howling dog sounds, which he found hilarious rather than offputting. Tim loved to sing, and in retirement learned to play the flute wonderfully and was not shy about giving us a blast. I miss those days very much, but I feel fortunate that we had them.

My heart goes out to anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one during this pandemic. Grief is so terrible, and to go through it without all the traditions of support we have built into society to help navigate it must be particularly hard. Hopefully we’re all at the tail end of that and we can soon gather to remember all those who didn’t get the turnout they deserved.

So here’s to Tim, who lived an exemplary life and has left behind a family that is finding comfort in their beautiful and precious memories.

The six siblings, only the youngest of whom remains. My dad Ber is on the far left, Tim far right

PS. If you read this post, please don’t share on Twitter, etc. I’m happy for this to be something that resides here quietly and that someone might happen upon. And maybe no one will read it. That’s fine too, I just felt the need to pay some sort of tribute. Thank you

Photo: Pexels/Pixabay

6 thoughts on “A tribute

  1. So sorry Anne to see about the death of your lovely uncle. I wrote a long comment to you and am not sure if it went into the ether or reached you, but in the risk of repeating myself, I just wanted to say despite not being able to wake Tim traditionally, you have used your talent as a writer to bring him to life so warmly on the page – and I imagine he might feature, perhaps hidden, in future writings of yours in the future 🙂 Thanks for sharing your personal story of universal grief, ever more poignant during Covid. Mags xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah Mags, thank you. Not the most coherent thing I’ve ever written, more a stream of consciousness, but from the heart. And borne out of frustration as well. I was thinking about it earlier and it’s the eighth funeral I’ve missed that I should have been at in the past year and a half. Not that I’m alone in that, of course. Lovely to hear from you and I appreciate you reading it, x

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  3. What a terrific photo, Anne! I think sibling love is rare and this photo captures it. My sincere condolences (and my heart goes out to all who could not be there due to restrictions). Thank you for writing this tribute to both your uncle and your father.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely, isn’t it? It captures so much of their close connection and I don’t think they ever took it for granted, especially after my uncle Mike died aged 50. Thanks so much for reading, x

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    1. Thank you so much for reading and for the kind comments, Oonagh. It’s hard to know how to mark people’s passing in the current climate, isn’t it? Hope all is well with you and yours, xx

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