My uncle passed away few hours ago while I am thousands of miles away from home. What to do? What to say?! Nothing could express how I feel. My uncle’s voice keeps resonating in my mind. Words from our last call keep coming up. It was a weird conversation, what with my uncle hardly being able to speak and me not finding the proper words to keep the conversation going on. My uncle sounded very frail and very much in pain after a year-long treatment of cancer. What could I do to alleviate the pain?
Now I see my uncle’s house, I picture myself entering, looking for my uncle just to see him lying in bed, lifeless. I can hardly believe next time I’ll be there, he will not. I can hardly believe next time I’ll ask about him, I will be looked at in the weirdest expression and I will be looking back in disbelief. I am not there, and I will not see him as he departs, however dramatic the scene could be but I would then have seen it happening. I wouldn’t have to construct the scene in my mind… I would not try hard to believe it. Next time I am there, I’ll probably just think that he is at school, or that he went for an errand, and I’ll probably wait and wait and wait for him to come back….
I am here, in my incredibly silent room, but in my head, there is a buzz, there are noises, there are sounds of people weeping, of people offering solace, of people standing there in disbelief… Why does it have to be like this? Why does it have to happen now? How else could this have been?
Throughout the past months, I kept hearing news about how my uncle’s health was deteriorating. I was so much in denial; I would call him often just to hear him assuring me he was just fine. Each time, he would orient the conversation to something else, like how I am doing, my travels, my future plans, etc… and he would always show pride in that.
I saw my uncle last time I went to Morocco, knowing he was in his last stage; it was all the same- no talks about his health, only questions from him on what Poland was like, what studies were like here, future plans and finally plenty and plenty of prayers… Now, the scene of when I last saw him resonates, as I and my dad walk him and his wife to a cab (I think they were going to the hospital) with a three-minute walk being a real challenge for the strongest man I knew. All I see now is my uncle getting into the red cab which fades away in no time. Could I have seen my uncle one more time?