One funeral is one too many. I’ve been to one too many five times over now. I lost my uncle almost two weeks ago now. He was the best man I ever knew. He is the best man I know. He taught me what a good husband, father, brother, son looked like. He was a faithful man and full of faith. He knew I wasn’t very religious and I’m sure it pained him but I wish I got the chance to tell him that the only reason I still believe in god was because of the family he built and the daughters he raised. While other family members ignored my parents’ dysfunctional relationship, he would have tears in his eyes when he asked us how we were coping. The tears weren’t out of pity, they were out of love. I would chafe when he held out hope for my dad but then I realized that he couldn’t fathom a father who would neglect his children or man who would abuse his wife.
He raised my best friend, someone I consider my soul mate and one of the loves of my life, someone who lived an almost idyllic life next to my chaotic one. Somehow, I was never jealous of her because seeing a good healthy marriage, loving parents, and a safe home reminded me that it was possible and I could have it. And they shared it with me. Growing up, I felt more comfortable and at ease in their home than I did in mine.
I’ve lost two fathers now. But I know nothing compares to the loss my cousins and aunt now face. If I could drink up all that hurt and feel it just so they wouldn’t have to I would. I cry, not because he’s gone now, but because of their pain and how I wish I could shield them from it. Life can seem so fragile and fleeting when you’re confronted with the death of a loved one and then so long when you realize how much more life you have left to live without them. It’s funny how perspective works.
But something I know for sure after the fucked up things I’ve been through and from the realism that comes from age – life goes on. The human spirit has the remarkable capacity to adjust and create a new normal. The lesson he’d want us to learn is to be grateful and resilient – he was a teacher after all. The best way to honor Amin Uncle’s memory would be to be better partners, parents, siblings, and children. And to have faith even if it’s in someone else.