I’m struggling. Loss hits everyone different, and every loss hits different. My uncle died earlier this week. It wasn’t unexpected, it wasn’t covid. He died at home, with his family, the way he wanted. I still feel sad. I feel the empty space. I feel a little numb.
I am not a fan of death. Especially as I get older, closer, it weighs on me. Each loss pulls me closer to the abyss. Each loss takes up space in my brain, the space that talks to me in the dark of the night when I’m at my loneliest. I think a big part of it is covid.
I’m locked at home. I rarely get outside of my home, and I’m recognizing individual trees in the forest. There are some I look forward to seeing, these are my new friends. I like to admire their new clothes, whether it’s the spectacular colors of changing leaves or the thick new coat of winter snow. I crave my moments outside. My four walls are too thick, too protective, too lonely. Never more so then when I lose another person out of my life.
I was raised Catholic. I am still Catholic. I no longer regularly attend church, not because I don’t believe or I have lost faith, but because I hate church in German. My German is fine, but a sermon in German still sounds scary. I do not find peace at Mass here like I do in English or Dutch. I think the no church is hurting me.
I definitely think the no funerals is hurting me. I have a need to say goodbye. To be with my people, to remember my loved ones, to cry, laugh & share memories. This damn virus has taken that from me, and it’s hurting me.
My uncle was a crotchety old man, even when he was my age. He was always gruff. A dry wit, a sarcastic humor. He usually sat at the back, to the side, of the huge crowd that is my family. Sometimes with another uncle, maybe his wife or a cousin, but never in the thick of things. Not like me, or my sisters.
Still, he was a big part of my life. Always there. These last years, after we moved to Germany and Holland was just a hop-skip-and-a-jump away, I got to know him a little better. Our family is more spread out, there aren’t as many gatherings of All the People. Instead I got him in small doses, in small groups.
Our last visit was mostly about him. He was on oxygen, the tubes running through the house like an alien predator, looking for its next prey. Weird that it gave me chills, while it gave him life. He asked about me, how I was, we shared a couple of memories. And now he lives on in my memory, and my memories of memories.
Goodby Oom Gijs. I am thankful you are at peace.
Good morning Toiny,
I am so sorry for your loss and I I can empathize with how you feel about missing church and funerals. We all grieve and find closure in different ways. I have a suggestion regarding missing services in English. St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City is now offering live Mass Services saintpatrickscathedral.org/live.
I have a 93-year-old aunt in Oriental, North Carolina who cannot attend church and who misses it immensely. Needless to say she is not connected to the Internet at all. Her church broadcasts Sunday services on YouTube… I connect my landline phone to my laptop and call my aunt and she was listens in the morning to the services over the phone. It brings her to a place where she’s peaceful.
I realize watching a Mass over the Internet is not the same as physically being in the church but perhaps, it may fill a space within you that you may be missing. I mean no disrespect and please believe me when I tell you I am not one to push religion on anyone. I believe we all find a way that is comfortable for ourselves to fulfill whatever our spiritual needs may be.
Please stay safe, be well and try to have a good day.
Oh my gosh! I just so my typos… I am so sorry I didn’t know how to go back and correct them. I’m still a newbie on the website.
No worries! Typos are no big deal. Thank you for your kind & thoughtful words.
Het is altijd triest als je een familielid moet laten gaan en nu helemaal dat je er niet even langs kunt gaan. Ik wens je sterkte. Maar weet dat hij altijd met je mee zal reizen in je gedachten.
Toiny, I know your feeling. How very sad. Yes, this Covid thing has robbed us of so much. It has made us prisoners in our own homes. Over the centuries there have been terrible things happen that have brought people closer to God. I understand your problem with church, but God loves you. Did you know that He sent us many ‘letters’ to guide us through life? They have been gathered together. We call it the Bible. If I were you, I would find one and start reading for yourself. Read the book of John first. Read it over and over. When you truly feel His love, read the rest of the New Testament. It will be a comfort in these troubling times. Love you, Lou Ann
I’m sorry for your loss. May his memories bring you comfort during this difficult time.
I’m so sorry for your loss. We just lost my mother-in-law last week. Losing loved ones is so devastating now. Especially since we cannot comfort each other in person.
AAW! I am so sorry for the loss of your uncle! deepest sympathy!!