For those of you not following my life as closely on social media as I am
stalking following yours, or for those who missed it because they have a life of their own… I previously posted that my Uncle Ian has been very, very, sick thanks to what I’m calling Pirate Face Cancer (because he had to have his right eye and cheekbone removed and I suggested he get an eye patch and a parrot ….my suggestions were NOT heeded).
I believe Doctors and medical science professionals simply called this – Cancer Cancer, and apparently what Cancer Cancer does, is it eventually kills you.
And unfortunately Cancer Cancer did that a week ago.
Now, before you tell me that you are sorry for my loss (which it turns out I hate very, very much) or think that I am crazy person for being so cavalier (I’m using humour as a defence mechanism you fuck), I want to share a little something with you about my life.
At the age of 29.5, I have been to one funeral. Six or so years ago, some friends of mine lost their mother in an operation gone wrong, and I attended as a show of solidarity with all our other friends. It was the saddest thing I had ever seen, and being that it was a Jewish funeral, the whole thing was fast, sudden, devastating and beautiful (I loved the idea of helping put dirt on the grave as a final Mitzvah/good deed).
So I’m not really sure how to deal.
I do not come from immortal stock, don’t get me wrong – we’ve lost people in our radius. But being that I am a self proclaimed immigrant and a wanderlusting selfish millennial, I’ve missed quite a few things.
When you’re far away, instagramming yourself by pools or at film festivals, people don’t invite you to the fringe births, weddings or deaths. You don’t go to your dads cousins husbands funeral.
To invite you to fly in for something seems a hassle, so you’re left off the list.
And maybe I’ve always liked it that way? What is that saying? A rolling stone gathers no moss.
As it turns out, a little moss is a good thing. It can soften the edges of a rolling stone, and maybe makes the journey a little more comfortable on the way down.
Though a very vocal, extroverted person in many regards, this loss in our family really knocked the words out of me for a minute. I like to stay positive and upbeat (hello, I live in sunny California) and I found it very difficult when the grief (perfectly normal) caught up to me.
I found myself ABSOLUTELY losing my shit at a couple of people who were really more annoying than actually harmful (both asking for LA style favours and getting caught at a bad time), I felt immobilized by a fear that death would come for more people I loved (it will), and eventually, I did cry (at the very best of times…after an open bar).
What stands out the most for me as the acceptance settles in, is the lingering guilt.
I have chosen the life I lead. I have chosen to be far away from family and roots (and okay in my family, everybody does their own thing and makes their own choices, but still..)
I looked at last minute flights to Perth from LA (not cheap and not quick) and I asked my Dad if he wanted me there to help him say goodbye to Ian. The consensus is no, stay where you are, do what you are doing. We had said our goodbyes already, and my Uncle won’t be at his own funeral. Isn’t that a weird thing? I’m still wrapping my head around it all personally.
The lesson I have taken away from all of this (and believe me, there is always a lesson) is that life can take you in directions you never knew, and you better be ready to accept the sweet and the sour that comes with that. Love your life whatever it looks like, and get a parrot and an eye patch while you still have the chance.