My last uncle died, my Dad's last male sibling. Grandma had seven boys and six girls. Two of the girls are living still. But Elton was the last living boy from this sibship of thirteen. I'm depressed. Yet I acknowledge that the loss is greater for the sisters, and Uncle Elton's spouse, of course. Not to mention their four daughters and various grandchildren. My prayers go out to them.
Some days I really miss living near family. I mean, hubby and I have a lovely life -- immediate family, including kids and grands, and a bevy of friends. The kind of friends who are there when you need them and might well be family measured by the strength of connection.
Still, in moments like these I find myself longing for the cousins, those companions of childhood who just were. . .not quite siblings, but more than friends, connected by blood and mutual history.
Perhaps my current funk is also brought on by that spectre of middle age -- the sense of one's own mortality that descends with the passing of relatives and friends so close to one's own age -- or even younger. This reality is compounded by the fact that I no longer get "carded" when asking for the senior discount. I could further depress myself by making a list of cousins my age and younger who have gone on. But I won't -- or maybe I will, but I won't include it here.
So what's the upside? Or, why on earth am I writing/posting this?
For one thing, just writing makes me feel better. The grief no longer sits in my gut eating on my tranquility. Rather it resides on a page outside of myself, a testimony to grief.
For another, some reading this will relate and realize they are not alone. The blue funk hits the best of us. Even Jesus wept. . . though for more profound reasons.
Nonetheless, scripture describes Jesus as "a man of sorrow, acquainted with grief." And His words provide comfort:
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted.
John 14:27 I am leaving you with a gift-peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give is not fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.
John 14:18 No, I will not abandon you or leave you as orphans in the storm--
I will come to you.
And with those words, I shall shake off this ennui and get packed for the journey "down home."