Wednesday, 23 August 2017

"He's Gone".

I have sat down to write this post so many times in the last few weeks but have never quite been able to muster the words.

On the 20th of July 2017 the lives of me and my family were changed forever.

My uncle passed away.

It was a seemingly normal day until my mum came home early from work. I heard the key in the door and knew something was wrong.
As she turned around and looked at me I just knew. Her eyes said everything they needed to.

"I've been over nan's all morning... He's gone".
I remember the words so vividly because in that second I was changed.
This was a day I hoped would never come. Though my uncle hasn't ever been a well man I never saw this day coming and as everyone keeps saying to me "41 is no age".
Hearing those words was like someone reaching into my chest and tearing out my heart.

There are no words that could show you what an incredibly kind and caring man he was. I can't tell you how he changed the lives of everyone he met or how he was a face you'll never forget. Nothing can describe his cheeky, contagious laugh or the sound of his voice.

But I can tell you how he has changed my life.

Me and my uncle looked at life through similar eyes.
We both experienced crippling anxiety on a daily basis and our brains thought in similar patterns.
We both knew that. It was an unspoken fact.
On the day of my aunts wedding while we were walking down to the car he just started telling me how he feels about life and what anxiety symptoms he hates. He shared with me his honest account of anxiety which was something I'd never had before. It was the first time I'd ever heard words that I completely understood. It was in that very moment I realised I wasn't alone.
It was also in that moment that I vowed to be open about mental health because that one frank conversation lifted such a heavy weight off my shoulders.

He became a person I admired as soon as I was old enough to feel the weight of depression and anxiety. I look back on a childhood filled with my wonderful happy uncle that would make me laugh and take me over the shop to get a bag of sweets or a magazine. It was as I got older I realised what it must have taken to smile and make others happy when you're not okay yourself. He filled my memories with joy and laughter and I could not be more thankful.
He was my hero despite his flaws and mistakes.

And then there was my blog. A blog where I am open about my mental health. A blog that has led me to connect with others that feel as I do. I have a network of people who all support and comfort each other with their honesty, companionship and kindness.
He is the reason behind all that. He was the catalyst that put me here.

He made sure I would never be alone.
And the worst part about that is I never got to tell him that.
So many words went unsaid and that's one of the things I'm struggling with the most.

"Steve, you taught me so much. You taught me to be kind even though the world isn't being kind to you. You taught me that bravery is waking up and facing your demons. You taught me that laughter really is the best medicine. And you taught me that I'm gonna be okay.
The cards I have been dealt will not defeat me."

Yesterday we all said our final goodbyes to the man we all loved and will continue to love for the rest of our days.
A whole sea of faces stricken with grief. Our tears could fill an ocean.

At the wake we played his favourite songs and I kept expecting him to come in, dancing and pulling everyone else up to dance with him.
But he didn't. He couldn't.

But I really hope that someway, somehow he was there with us.
I hope he saw how much he meant/means to all of us.

Nothing can describe the massive hole that's been left in my life.
No one can prepare you for grief. No one can tell you how much it'll hurt or how you'll just become so broken you can't even fathom a time when you won't feel so hurt.
I have moments where I think I'm coping and then a tsunami of grief hits me. It's all-consuming and takes over every single aspect of your being. Horrible gut wrenching pain flows through you and you're left powerless against it.

But I will take every single second of pain if it means that he finally found peace and freedom.

I love and miss you Uncle Steve.
Wherever you are, save a seat for me. I have so much to say.



  1. Oh Lousia, this is heart breaking to read but it's so beautiful too. I'm a firm believer that our loved ones are still around, even if we can't physically see them. I feel that way about my mum who died when I was 21. Nothing I say will take away the hurt and grief you felt and without doubt still feel but you aren't alone. Steve will always be so proud of you, this is a wonderful tribute to him x

    Lisa |

    1. Lisa, your comments are always so lovely and so greatly appreciated. Thank you for your kind words x