Saying Goodbye

Goodbye is so difficult.

Even when we know that death is not final, when we know that Eternity will find us in joyous fellowship with loved ones, even when we know that life will somehow stumble upon us day after day until we have learned how to adjust to the loss…

Goodbye is so difficult.

My Uncle Wayne has gone home today to be with our Lord.

I have grown to love my uncles so fiercely. Without a strong relationship with my own father, their love and acceptance has become pivotal in my life, in shaping my identity (yes, even in my thirties). But Uncle Wayne has always been, to me, this image of a man I could never know. He was so far away (Florida). And I’ll tell you–as children, Florida may as well have been as far away as Pluto. I always wanted to know him. This last year, and especially since my Family History trip to Frankenmuth last April, I have written back and forth a few times with Uncle Wayne and his daughter, my beautiful cousin, Cindy.

I remember reading my first letter from Uncle Wayne. I thought–this man probably didn’t even know who I was. But oh, he did! And he did not withhold one ounce of affection. He wrote as if I’d been his favorite niece since that day I was born thirty-some years ago. He told stories of himself, his brothers, his children, even about his parents. And at the end, he wrote something remarkable: a blessing.

I am not too proud to tell you that it is I who owed him a letter, not the other way around. And I am not too proud to tell you that, although I don’t have enough postage for mail delivery in Heaven, I will probably still write to him. At least once more.

Pray for my family this week, friends. Pray for our peace in his absence. Goodbye is just so difficult.

Maybe I’ll say goodbye tomorrow. Tonight, I am heartsick.

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