My uncle passed away on Thursday evening. His body eventually succumbed to the slow ruin it was decaying under — two hip surgeries, failing hearing and sight, a broken elbow, chronic renal failure. But his mind, his amazing mind was razor-sharp till almost the very end.
He had no kids and my aunt had passed away a long time ago. I was closely involved with his last days, which were spent at more than one old-age home. I was in and out of hospitals, forever on the alert. I hated to see him suffer so much. I was the first in my family to see him lying peacefully, relieved finally of his suffering. For the first time, I saw a cremation up close and personal. I looked into his face just before he was consigned to the flames, and whispered — Bye Uncle. And I could hear his voice saying Byyyye! in the usual cheerful fashion. That was when I broke down.
When my uncle passed away, I asked DH to bring along Lil D to see him. I thought it was time she learnt about the circle of life. One of our close friends just gave birth to the cutest little baby boy over the weekend. So, within the space of barely a week, Lil D saw how life began and how it ended. I’m glad to say she took it in her stride.