gone but never forgotten


Inuksuk* (Whistler, Vancouver Olympics 2010)

My brother-in-law passed at 5:30 am (Pacific time) on Monday, July 27, 2015.

He was aware of his world until the last night. He joined in conversations with a joke and a smile.

I cherish my memories of him.

Each person whose life he touched, carries a piece of him in their hearts and memories.

Here’s to a life well spent. Good-bye. You are gone from this world, but never will be forgotten.

* In Inuit (and other Artic Circle languages), inuksuk translates into “something which acts for or performs the function of a person.” Traditionally, for example, inuksuk indicated a point of reference, travel route, or spiritual place.

Now the inuksuk symbolizes a variety of attributes, as adopted by non-Artic Circle society/culture. “I was here. I am me. Peace. Understanding/compassion.”

I use the inuksuk to embody “My brother-in-law was here.”


27 thoughts on “gone but never forgotten

  1. phylor August 2, 2015 / 2:19 am

    I did respond to your last comment. It has disappeared I will try and retrieve it.


  2. redbirdwritings July 30, 2015 / 9:10 am

    Hugs and Prayers …Recently our Family has had Loss and our Focus on Happy memories consoles us .I along with my Family believe in heaven that also helps our hearts deal ..Our tears flow for ourselves really cause we don’t want to be left without our Love one but thinking of all Our Love ones in Heaven smiling down like Guardian angels truly ease our pain. The Recent loss of my Sweet older Aunt hurts us soo much ..My Thoughts also turn to a Sweet Friend who lost her child when her child was to graduate many years ago now ..It was a Drunk driver that caused the accident ..My Friend forgave the man that caused the accident ..She said she gave him no power over the sweet Memories she had for her Daughter .Here I am focusing on Light and Prayer ..Truly hope for Peace for you and your Love ones


    • phylor August 1, 2015 / 2:01 pm

      Thank you. The concept of guardian angels is an important one for me.


  3. summerstommy2 July 29, 2015 / 1:27 am

    My condolences too. It’s never easy when a family member passes. I like that comment about your dad…..I get that one.


    • phylor July 29, 2015 / 4:39 am

      Re-bonding during the last 10 years of his life was special. For that I will always be grateful.
      Grief can still surprise and pull at me. I suspect that will continue.
      I’m glad you like the comment about my dad, and that you get it.


  4. Suzanne July 28, 2015 / 8:24 pm

    What a beautiful and inspiring eulogy. I really like the comments here too. Death is so hard to talk about for grief is so very personal. I have lost many people in my life yet each time the grieving process has been different. Thank you for opening this dialogue.


    • phylor July 28, 2015 / 11:20 pm

      Thank you for finding this dialogue of use.
      I have lost people and as you say, each time the grieving process differs. I know what never getting past the anger over someone can do to your spirit and your soul.
      I blogged about my mother’s mental and physical health issues, and her death. Guess I’m open about the subject even though I, too have lost people out of my life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Suzanne July 29, 2015 / 1:57 am

        Your comment about your mother’s physical and mental health issues is interesting. I too have had a mother with similar issues. I even blogged about it as recently as last week end – just a bit of buried conflict still lurking in the recesses of my mind that I was scarcely aware but that had been affecting me all the same.


        • phylor July 29, 2015 / 4:20 am

          Carrying around the anger was dangerous for me. I had to forgive her if I was to heal.
          I understand there being emotions deeply felt yet hidden. I am still surprised at how deep the anger was.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Colline July 28, 2015 / 6:12 pm

    My condolences to you and your family Phylor.


    • phylor July 28, 2015 / 11:21 pm

      Thank you, Colline. There have been gatherings where he was fondly remembered, stories told, adventures relived. Of course, people did break down, but the mood was that of a good sendoff for a good person.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. wendy July 28, 2015 / 3:12 pm

    I’m very happy your brother in law was able to share with his loved ones in his last days. I know he had many health issues over the years. It was heart breaking the last treatment didn’t work. I’m glad he could come to peace with things and pass with dignity and have joy during the last days.

    Thinking of you..always.


  7. phylor July 28, 2015 / 1:03 pm

    His last week was a happy, funny wake. Last night friends of his and his wife’s plus the remaining two brothers gathered in remembrance. Of course, people broke down at times, but it was mostly the funny and fun remembories.
    I was with my mother when she passed. Given all the circumstances, it was relief rather than grief that accompanied her death. The same with my bil. It was a release, and all felt like a great weight had been taken off. Not that they minded being there for him, but that he was at peace.
    I am sorry you lost your friend. There is that feeling that peace can come through passing. Perhaps it can. I am still searching for the tao of peace here, so that I might find peace afterwards.
    Yes, we need to talk about all sorts of death. We, the living, . . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Valida Faire July 28, 2015 / 11:29 am

    Wow, this is so moving and beautiful; and I was thinking about what I said last time, in reference to not grieving my parents’ deaths. That’s still true, but it’s not that I can’t/don’t grieve the loss of anyone–I still grieve some days, missing a neighbor who passed away. I wish he were still here–though I know he’s now at peace, free from his schizophrenia; and most painfully, I was jealous that he got out–and I was still here.

    It sounds like your brother-in-law had a lovely last day on earth–to be aware and peaceful/joyful enough to joke. How I would wish/pray for a passing like that. I wonder if that made it harder, or easier for you to let him go?

    Death is such a complex subject to ponder–and so often we’re not free to speak about all its aspects.


    • wendy July 28, 2015 / 3:13 pm

      Valida – You are right, death is a very complex subject and people have a very hard time talking about it. As you said about your neighbor, you felt a bit jealous of him. A lot of people would never be able to say that aloud, or be able to accept that you felt that way. You are brave to say it. Know there are many who do understand. And there are some out here who would talk about these things.

      Grief is a very personal thing. It can sneak up on you. It can hide sometimes. For me it can be overwhelming for some people. Sometimes for people I barely knew, then for some people I did know I feel guilty because I don’t feel much. It is very complicated, our emotions.

      Be gentle with yourself. You are only human, and we are very complex.



      • Valida Faire July 28, 2015 / 4:08 pm

        Hi Wendy–what a lovely compassionate comment–thank you! I know what you mean about grief sometimes “sneaking up on you”–that is so weird, a blow, to be caught off guard. And sometimes the feeling of “loss” is eclipsed by another emotion–when I was in Jr High, one of my 2 girlfriends was murdered. I never felt “grief” because I was so overwhelmed by fear as we waited to know who had committed the crime (a neighbor/fellow student). And then my family moved away, so I was out of the loop, not with the kids I knew who may have experienced delayed grief. Thanks for chatting with me about this–grief is fascinating, I think (when you’re not in the midst of its pain).


        • phylor July 29, 2015 / 1:19 am

          Grief does sneak up on you. When my father unexpectedly died, I made it through the times you’d think I’d be upset: Father’s Day, his birthday, my parent’s anniversary, etc.
          However, watching the World Series made me cry. We used to watch the games together in the later years when he and I found our bond again. Same with the Stanley Cup (hockey’s top prize). Funny how I could steel myself and deal with the “should cry” days, but I wasn’t prepared for Game 1 in the World Series.


          • Valida Faire July 29, 2015 / 1:43 am

            Oh my dear–I can certainly understand what you’re saying. It’s odd, puzzling what triggers the responses–as I noted earlier somewhere, it fascinates me to try to analyze it all…when I’m not in the throes of high emotion. I think it’s wonderful that you and your Dad found your bond together in later years–that you were able to have some good times before he was snatched from your life. As my adoptive dad’s last days with cancer coincided with my divorce, I was on overload–and there was no support from my family, whose loyalties were with Dad; understandable, I guess–but it still left me out in the cold, as I’d been all my life. The family was a shambles, so I can’t legitimately blame any of them–but it doesn’t change how shell-shocked I felt. I left the marriage due to abuse–but couldn’t tell anyone, until 15 yrs later when I had a counselor after my nearly successful suicide attempt. Life is sometimes just ridiculously BAD.

            I wonder if you’re able to watch and enjoy the World Series and Stanley Cup now?


            • phylor July 29, 2015 / 4:16 am

              Almost 25 years later, I find it easer to watch as time goes on. I can remember the good times — my last rememorby — more than grief at his passing.
              While I was my mother’s care-giver, I went over and talked to him in the cemetery. Those were good talks where I was able to discuss issues re my mother, tell him stories I thought he would find humorous and such.
              I miss those talks, too.


              • Valida Faire July 29, 2015 / 4:20 am

                Wow, interesting–good to hear that time has brought some healing. I’m being repetitive, but it just fascinates me–what we miss, when and how….the whole “loss” deal….


                • phylor July 29, 2015 / 4:30 am

                  Yes, it is interesting to look at grief from various perspectives. As I said in a comment thread, I had to let go of the anger I had for my mother.
                  I forgave her as I forgave a relative who had done grievous harm to my mother (no violence, just greed and ability to lie “straight faced”). My mother was not operating as herself, and would not let me pursue him on this issue. Let’s say what goes around, comes around. I needed to let his behaviour go too.
                  Feel what you feel. Emotional overload when dealing with a dysfunctional family is inevitable. Admitting the abuse, even if it took 15 years, gives you back the power stolen from you. Better to get it back after years than never at all.


                  • Valida Faire July 29, 2015 / 4:06 pm

                    I think what I’m currently most distressed about, is that in 2011 I did forgive and let go of Everything/everyone–and felt wonderful. Yet now it seems to have all slithered back. It certainly wasn’t a conscious choice to be miserable again, so I don’t understand it…


                    • phylor August 1, 2015 / 2:09 pm

                      Depression, like grief (for a person, a feeling, a dream unfulfilled, something lost) doesn’t operate on a time frame agenda.
                      Depression sneaks up on me, like grief for things that were lost or never achieved. Depression will always be part of who I am.
                      You are conscious that you are miserable again. My mother had to be miserable at all costs, and never recognized this, or made her (or my) life easier.
                      I’m still a work in progress. I suspect I always will be. But, that doesn’t mean I’m always depressed/not depressed. Or, that I’m not grieving something in my life. It means that part of who I was, who I am, who I want, but not necessarily achieve/not achieve is wrapped up in emotions like depression among other things that harm me, and not necessarily anyone else.
                      I don’t know if this makes any sense, and had intended to write this after you last comment. But, I forget more than I remember.


                    • Valida Faire August 1, 2015 / 4:30 pm

                      Well, we definitely have some similarities–bad and good. I don’t like those “sneak/stealth attacks” at all–like many victims of chronic abuse, I developed the habit of always being on “high alert”–very stressful way to live, but I can’t change it, particularly with the environment I’m living in (last night was particularly hideous, watching someone being beaten in the parking lot). I don’t know what the future holds–whether there will be a true end to my depression, or whether I’ll just deal with it, work around it best I can–as I’m accustomed to. I choose not to “wallow and whine” (so I hope it hasn’t sounded like I’ve reverted to that)–but instead suck whatever strength and joy I can from a day, leaning on my Faith. I’m so sorry you have to deal with depression as part of who you are, too–and yet, I see that some of us have “made use” of it, turned it into something which enriches life….if that makes sense at all; while others just wallow and exist. At least I can write, so that’s what I do–and cook (even in this blashted Heat)! The “h” is a typo, but I rather like the word it made, so I’m leaving it as is! Sending you those long-distance type Hugs, wishing you a much-blessed day.


I love dialogue. Do you?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s