Several months ago, JB’s uncle Jack was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Jack endured the radiation and chemotherapy treatments, losing his hair and his body weight along the way. He had a heart attack, and a stint was installed. He battled a horrible hospital-acquired infection. A tough sonofabitch by any standard, Jack told JB life kept trying to knock him down, but he was by god still standing.

We all hoped he was out of the woods, but last Monday Jack’s wife dragged him—as he was famously reluctant to complain—to the emergency room with debilitating pain in his back. A scan revealed that the cancer had spread to his bones. A grim diagnosis was given, 1-3 months.

By Thursday he was gone. I don’t even know how it happened so fast. I suppose there is some cold comfort in the fact that he didn’t continue to suffer. I don’t know if there is any comfort to death, though.

JB talked to him right before he died; a family member held the phone to Jack’s ear and JB spoke blindly into Jack’s labored breathing and those words are between the two of them but I believe Jack heard him. I believe that even as he slipped away, he knew he was surrounded by love.

Maybe there is comfort to that, if nothing else.

Jack has always been a big part of my husband’s life and it feels like a critical branch has been torn from the family tree. I keep wishing I could say something, the right thing, that would help ease the loss, but this is what happens when someone is loved so dearly: they are missed.

He was a good man, and he is missed.

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98 Responses to “1937-2011”

  1. Melanie on June 1st, 2011 11:25 am

    He was a handsome guy. I’m so sorry for the loss of a great family member. My heart goes out to your family.

  2. Christine on June 1st, 2011 11:52 am

    I’m so very sorry for your family’s loss. He seems like an amazing person. (And I love the picture of him with Riley and I’m guessing Riley’s cousin…adorable.)


  3. Mel on June 1st, 2011 12:41 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of your family’s loss. My sincere condolences to you all.

  4. adequatemom on June 1st, 2011 2:07 pm

    So sorry to hear this sad news, Linda. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

  5. Eliza on June 1st, 2011 2:36 pm

    Uncle Jack sounds awesome. I’m sorry.

  6. Shelly on June 1st, 2011 3:07 pm

    I’m so sorry to you and JB. I got all teary eyed as well. He did seem pretty cool! :) I’m sure you will always have great memories of him.

  7. Donna on June 1st, 2011 3:19 pm

    Aw, honey, I’m so sorry. Sometimes I don’t think there are EVER the right words.

  8. Mommy Boots on June 1st, 2011 5:49 pm

    I’m sorry for your loss. You & your family will be in my thoughts.

  9. Redbecca on June 2nd, 2011 7:41 am

    I’m so sorry, Linda. That sucks. Damn cancer.

  10. Cheri on June 2nd, 2011 8:07 am

    Hey Linda… I’m so sorry for your family’s loss.

  11. All Adither on June 2nd, 2011 2:12 pm

    Aw, fuck. I’m sorry. Beautiful bloggy eulogy you’ve written.

  12. Simon on June 2nd, 2011 5:33 pm

    Sorry to hear about this. That shit sucks. Best wishes to you and to the rest of the family as well.

  13. Shawna on June 2nd, 2011 9:32 pm

    So sorry to hear your sad news. Hope you hang in there.

  14. Sonia on June 2nd, 2011 10:49 pm

    I’m so sorry for your family’s loss Linda.

  15. clover on June 3rd, 2011 1:07 am

    I’m so sorry. My mom died 06/16/08 in Kirkland, only 3.5 months after I had my daughter (just days younger than your Dylan). The best thing my husband could do was listen. There was nothing for him, or anyone, to say. Be there for JB. That is the best gift you could give to him.

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