June 9, 2009


I had a death in my family this week.

I have experienced the death of my soul mate ~ my grandmother ~ many years ago (at least 17) but this was a whole new experience.

My dearest uncle, my father's brother, went over to the other side, and left us with his wife of 56 years. She has "the Alzheimers".

It has been the deepest most life-changing event of mine to date.

The "passing", as my culture refers, occurred over one week ago; May 30th to be exact.

He was a strong man. A cultured man. A revered man. A man's man.

His wife was his "Princess". Feminine. A lady's lady. My aunt, who was one of my best friends, has been the complete victim of "The Alzheimers". It has completely taken her over yet she remembers the essence of our relationship. She remembers my name and essentially, who I am.

The LOVE remains. I am sharing all of this with you for that reason alone.

The LOVE remains.

Even in the darkest hour, love can transcend time and consciousness and bring you to the importance of life, which is love.

This is not always the case of course. BUT, since I witnessed it, I had to share.

When all else fails, but the love remains, it should be incentive to pause...embrace the very core of your existence.

My Alzheimer afflicted aunt, remembers the "cooing" talk we spoke with one another, though she may not have the words. She recalls the tenderness we shared and the very feeling between us too.

My uncle was larger than life and will be sorely missed, but it is almost as if we had to uber-mourn him and then quickly move on to care for the love of his life.

They were such a centerpiece in my existence.

Many of my family have ignored this great occurrence, but I feel sorry that they have chosen to miss out.

When a strong presence has departed this world, it should cause you to pause.

Embrace the void and cherish the breath, the tree branches swinging in the breeze and the fragrance of death ~ it should be sweet.

Embrace the cornerstone. Have mercy on your own soul so that you may appreciate the cross-over.

The journey is intense. The journey is mean, but it is the path we must all take at some point. Face it head on. Tell it your secrets and let death be your friend.

Silent. Strong and Hades shining in midnight ~ a show stopping firestorm of spirit, life lines and the beautiful sun set.


Tom said...

Good story, House!

When I sold long term care insurance for MetLife, I learned that 25% of the population will get Alzheimers by the time that they are 75, and at age 85, it's 50%. The best prevention is to keep your mind active (reading and writing are safeguards)

Melissa Isaacson of the Chicago Tribune wrote an excellent article about Alzheimers in January of 2008.

If the link works, you should be able to read it below:


Houseonahill said...

Was JUST thinking I missed you and that when things settle we must do lunch!

Heading to check this link...thanks Tom!

James Hofheins said...

What a beautiful post - and a beautiful tribute to both your uncle and aunt.

It's so hard to watch someone go through "the Alzheimers" but to know she remembers the essence of your relationship? A gift from God.

Thank you so much for posting this. It resonates with me in many ways.

James Hofheins
Service is The Action Form of Love

Houseonahill said...

So glad we stopped and shared this together ~ Thank you