Last year, my husband’s uncle died unexpectedly. Sudden heart attack and he was gone, while on vacation in a desert paradise. He hadn’t been at our wedding years before, because he had been cast out of the family. For lying to and betraying them.
The rift didn’t happen when he cast aspersions at them all because they were Catholic and he was now born-again Christian. It wasn’t when he left his newfound religion and his wife and children and declared that he had discovered he was gay. It wasn’t when he began dating a man and became involved in a serious relationship. It wasn’t when he left his lifetime businesses behind and became a flight attendant – a somewhat silly, he thought, dream but one worth pursuing to be true to his soul.
No, the betrayal and lying came about over money. Simple loans that became complicated and tore a family apart for years. Until they were forgiven, and he was back in the Family fold again, to share his now fabulous life with them all.
And then he died, just a few months after reconciliation. So young. So unexpected. But at the very least, the word “after” applied.
He died after living true to himself. After showing the world who he really loved. After following that dream that had little to do with making a living, and a lot to do with just living the dream. And those who loved him, his true family and friends (including the ex-wife, the children, the siblings) who loved him unconditionally – they stayed by his side for the ride of his lifetime.