A Quiet Passing
This is fairly short and one would think, not related to art, but for me, inspiration to create art comes from my life.
We live in a very rural area. About a week ago, my husband and I passed the funeral home in town and there were cars filling the parking lot of not only the funeral home, but the business beside it. My husband said, "Somebody very important must have died." I said, "Somebody who was very loved died."
While at work Thursday, my coworkers and I were talking about family stories. You know, how we wish we recorded, wrote down, or somehow saved all the stories that our grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc...told when we were young so we could have them to pass down. I mentioned how I wished I would have done that with my gram's stories, as she lived a very interesting life. I also mentioned that there really wasn't an easy way to ask my family members to help with the remembering, as the only two who would have many of the stories were my Uncle Jimmy and Uncle Tommy. Uncle Jimmy lived off the grid, so to speak. Contacting him, while not impossible, was rather difficult. My Uncle Tommy incurred a mini stroke last year, so he is focused on improving speaking and motor skills.
Ironically, late that same night, my aunt (Uncle Tommy's wife) sent a message that my Uncle Jimmy had passed away at the end of February. I'm unsure why the family wasn't notified of his death until many days later, but Uncle Jimmy's wife did as she saw fit, I suppose. Perhaps she didn't think anyone would make the trip to Deadwood, SD to pay their final respects. Who knows?
Point is, my Uncle Jimmy passed away with very little fanfare. He quietly left his earthly body and very few people even knew. That may be exactly what he wished for. After all, he lived on the cusp of civilization in a cabin surrounded by the Black Hills National Forest in Deadwood, SD.
While I was not close to my Uncle Jimmy, I loved him. He was my mother's brother and I do have memories from childhood and as an adult. The memories are few and far between, since we never lived close. After he served in the military, he was a bit of a wanderer and kind of rough around the edges. Life can have that effect on a person. He eventually settled down in that remote cabin where he lived for many years.
A few years back, we contacted each other through FB after my Uncle Johnny (his brother) had passed away. He was using the internet at the library and had difficulty with FB, so we sent a few emails back and forth. I was able to send him a few pictures of Uncle Johnny and my children and he sent me a couple of pictures. We both agreed to send CDs of pictures to each other, but, as it too often goes, neither of us did.
I have been torn. My heart breaks for my Uncle Jimmy's quiet passing...No funeral home was busting at the seams with people paying their respects...saying their final goodbyes. There wasn't an online guestbook to sign. No sad post on FB with hundreds of folks offering thoughts, prayers and sympathy. I honestly believe that is how he wanted it. Still, I did want to acknowledge his life...and, his death.
One day, I may have more to add in a form other than this blog on my website. For now, I'll just say, my Uncle Jimmy may have been rough around the edges, but he loved animals. Here is one of the pictures he sent me years back. He is sitting outside his cabin with one of the loves of his life, his calico, Tansy.
This is how I want to remember the uncle that I loved.