Dec 06, 2006 - My Uncle Stan's Passing

I went up to Canada for the funeral of my uncle on Monday, the 4th. The funeral was a good time. There were a lot of happy faces (with some sad) as people talked and remembered Stan.

My uncle Stan was an interesting man. He was my dad's brother, one of nine siblings. The three youngest were boys, very close in age and constant playmates. Their dad died when the youngest (my dad) was 4, during the great depression. This left them very poor on a farm in Northern Alberta, Canada.

Stan had to leave school after he had only completed 7th grade to work to make money for the family. However he was a life-long learner and made significant achievements in his life. He made a good living and his family loved him.

Stan was never against Christianity, but at the end of his life, he embraced it. To me, this is the most comforting thing because I know where my dad is, and now I know where Stan is too. Later I will see them, so they are not completely gone.

My cousin Barry is maybe 5 years older than me. Three years ago he came to the funeral of my dad. This time the roles were reversed. I gave the eulogy for my Dad at his funeral and if you read it you see that it is positive and upbeat. That is the way I felt. When I spoke with Barry, he remembered that and said he felt the same way about his dad. It was a good time.

Stan's last night with the family, they were all there and talked around him. He was not able to speak at the end and painkillers reduced his clarity, but he understood what they were saying and could smile and squeeze a hand. Everybody was able to tell him how much he meant to him.

It was interesting how the context of their passing was so different. Stan died at home with all of his children and grandchildren around him. My dad died in the house of a young Brazilian pastor way up near the mouth of the Amazon river, whom he had just met the night before. My dad passed quickly without pain. And all us kids had said our goodbyes to him in an ordinary sort of way, months before he traveled to Brazil.

I would have liked to spend time with him at the end, but I am also very content. I will talk with him later in heaven.