This morning I woke up to the very sad news that my uncle had passed away. Another beautiful person, taken by the cruel and relentless disease that is cancer. Cancer really is a bitch. I shed a tear as I told Mick the news and then I pulled myself together for a day at work. I didn’t speak about it at work - I smiled, I laughed and I got shit done. I didn’t feel the need to share or talk about it, to anyone - it may be hard to believe, but I’m a pretty private person. As I drove home, thoughts and memories started to fill my mind and so came the tears.
Tears of all of my childhood memories of him.
Tears of warmth about that time he took me to the Pride parade in San Francisco when I was 10, because I begged, even though I didn’t understand what Pride was all about back then.
Tears of joy that we got to hang out with him, my aunty and my cousins a few years back when we were in Colorado.
Tears of happiness that because of that visit, they were inspired to visit us for their first ever snow holiday.
Tears that he is no longer with us.
Tears of anger at the suffering that he had to go through.
Tears from being thankful that his suffering has finally ended.
Tears of guilt and regret that I hadn’t written that letter to him that I had been meaning to.
Tears of wondering how life can be so fragile and temporary.
Tears of passion at the importance of living your best life, nurturing relationships with family and friends.
Tears at the realisation that I am not practicing what I preach.
This self realisation journey made me see that although I could keep my grieving and sadness private, I shouldn’t.
I write a lot about living your best life and ‘finding your adventure’, yet I have found myself caught up in the madness of life recently. I know this because although my mind keeps up, my body tells me no. But after the news about my uncle this morning, I had a bit of a reality check.
I accept that the daily challenges in life that I am facing are real, and they are probably just versions of what challenges you have in your life too. But in the whole scheme of things, are they really as bad as they seem? I’m not discounting them, I know that life isn’t always easy. But are we sweating the small things? Are we losing focus of what is really important in life? Are we making time to take care of ourselves, to connect with our family and friends?
My poor uncle had to leave behind my gorgeous aunty and my two young cousins who are barely teenagers. I can’t even begin to imagine what they must be going through. I don’t really care for sayings like ’it was his time’ because frankly, no matter how you look at it, it’s still shitty. I really, really regret not writing that letter to him and I am annoyed at myself for momentarily forgetting about the things that are true to me - the philosophy and values that sit behind what The Snow Chasers is all about.
I write a lot, but it is usually about happy things so writing this was not easy. I hope that this will be something that will resonate with many of you in some way, but more importantly a little reminder to check yourselves. Remember what is important in life to you, don’t focus on the things that aren’t and go and give someone you love a giant hug.
Please don’t feel the need to leave comments giving your condolences, this isn’t about me.
To my Uncle David - thank you for having been in our lives. I am glad that you are no longer suffering. We will miss you.
Jen spends most of her time following Mick around the mountain, often unintentionally off jumps and cliff drops. Currently on a mission to prove that you’re never too old to try freestyle. Aside from snowboarding, a little obsessed about tattoos, CrossFit, saving animals, learning to play the guitar and clean eating. Web designer and digital marketing nerd.