Saying goodbye to someone you like and care about is difficult enough when you or they are moving away, or even when someone is just leaving for a trip. But it's doubly/triply difficult when they pass away and you know you'll never, in this life, see them again.
Uncle Jim, as he's known to my daughter, passed away suddenly just two days ago of a heart attack. He was a funny, funny man who endeared himself to many people--he was a member of his local volunteer fire department for a good number of years, he supported his wife in all her crazy artistic endeavors, he helped anyone who needed it, and best of all, he made us laugh almost all the time.
Long ago I used to see him pretty regularly. Lately I didn't see him more than a couple of times a year. Nonetheless the shock of his passing is immense.
And to make it worse, I'm in Knoxville, Tennessee and will be here for the rest of the week. The funeral is next Sat. in deference to impending hurricane Sandy, I imagine. I think I'll cut my visit here short and head back to NY early in an effort to be there for the service.
My daughter is devastated. Besides wanting to be there in support of Jim's immediate family, I'd like to be there for my daughter.
There are some hard roads to travel and some dark places to pass through in this life. This is one of them, but by God's mercy we do. I'm praying that His grace will give some comfort to Jim's friends and family at this time.
I don't know for sure, but this might be the last photo taken of him. I took this at a mini-family-reunion this past August. I'm thankful that I'm so obsessed with taking pictures at functions.