Thursday, December 18, 2014 • Morning Edition • "At least we're not Bleeding Cool!"

The Big Inevitable

Written by Alex Delarge on Tuesday, November 30 1999 and posted in Blog
I watched my uncle die tonight. He had fallen ill over the weekend and then remained living on a respirator. I was there when they took him off the respirator which allowed him to drift into permanent sleep.

When I was a kid I always pictured him as the Cookie Monster. This big guy who ate a lot and whose eyes seemed to spin around when he moved. He had an infectious laugh, but he did not live a simple life. The tales about the drama, sex, and debauchery that surrounded his life are legendary. While I have seen him from time to time throughout my life I was not close to the man. I was there for three reasons: out of respect for him and my family, for my mother in case she needed me, and to see the big inevitable for myself.

Death is something that none of us can get away from and I know one day I will have to deal with it once it hits my more immediate family. I have been preparing myself for that inevitability. I have always been the rock, cool under pressure, unflinching person in the family. I cannot allow myself to let go, not at first at least.

I was one of the last persons in the room and one of the last persons in the family to touch him after death had come and I have to admit touching his cold, dead flesh moved me to tears and I am not sure why. I think maybe I wept not only for my uncle but for everyone else that has yet to experience death, including me.

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