I kept myself so busy last week so that I didn’t have to grieve or think or feel or anything beyond function. If Uncle Ian crept into my thoughts, I shut it down and found something to do.
As a result I have had a relapse of my throats and blocked nose – Louise Hay would say unresolved and congested emotion. I would agree. I worked hard to keep that emotion at bay.
But, not today.
Today I am feeling a week’s worth of grief. It started last night. The acknowledgement that today is a funeral. A funeral for one of the strongest and most positive male role models I have had throughout my life, my childhood.
One of a small group of adults who tried to keep us safe, to show us another way.
I don’t remember much from anything past. My brain keeps me safe, probably to the extreme, by locking things away. I remember emotion though, deeply, and my body remembers emotion.
Uncle Ian was funny. He made us laugh. He brought things home from the Commonwealth Bank, where he had worked for decades before retiring, in the days when loyalty to a workplace was commonplace.
He had a small Hookey board and we would spend hours in their garage, doors open, throwing rubber rings onto brass hooks. He would cheer our wins. Drinks were consumed from small blue and pink and yellow metal cups, brought out by Aunty Val.
We went to The Entrance for our only ever overnight holiday away with Aunty Val and Uncle Ian. It was overcast but we walked along the water anyway. It was amazing. They came to Taronga Zoo with us on the ferry. They were our Christmas.
They were just always there.
When mum and dad had fought, and mum didn’t think it was safe for us to be there, we were scuttled, in blankets, next door to sleep. We also just had sleepovers there. Just for fun.
They loved us. They protected us. They spoiled us. They were a significant part of our village.
And today, I will see Aunty Val, without Uncle Ian, for the first time ever. I have known these people, as a couple, for over forty years. Aunty Val and Uncle Ian. They worked together, as a unit, her giggle to his dry humour and funny tales.
Uncle Ian has gone.
What is that about.