Three weeks--to the day--after we buried my aunt Irene, I got a phone call early in the morning that my Uncle John had passed away overnight. Two weeks prior he had been given a prognosis of two months, but the day before he passed the hospice nurse estimated that he had only 24-36 hours left. Those of us who could, went.
So fast, we all said. So much loss. Donna, Ciocia, now Stryjek. So devastating. I'm so glad I got to say goodbye, I thought.
Over the next several days as we mourned together and consoled each other, I talked about the couple of hours I was able to share with my uncle and members of my family the night before he passed. They were two of the saddest, most heartwrenching hours of my life: crying with his grandchildren, praying as my aunt told him it was okay to let go, seeing my Dad kiss his younger brother goodbye. "Dobra noc, Janek," he said. Goodnight, John. Yet I also knew there was something inherently blessed and wonderful about those hours, about being a part of a family that shares and loves one another so much.
I try to to hold onto that as I go through my days lately, as I try to move forward and be positive in the face of all this loss and sadness. We have each other, I think. I have an amazing family.
And then, Please let us be done. No one else. Please.