This morning our dad woke us up really early and broke the news to us that Uncle David had died. We were all in a state of disbelief, as we couldn't believe it. We knew things were getting bad for him, but we didn't think this day would arrive so soon, especially since the doctors had given him six months to a year left to live.
We quickly got changed and went over to our cousins' house. There was a police car parked on the side of the road at the end of the driveway, with a policeman standing outside the house. Once we got to the house we went around the back where the policeman had been standing, and saw our uncle lying on the ground outside beside the parked cars. Our cousins had gathered around our uncle, holding his hand and looking on. My cousins were understandably quite upset.
Originally we didn't know why he was outside, but we were then told what had happened. Apparently our aunty woke up to give our uncle some medicine at 5am in the morning. About half an hour later, my cousin went in to check up on him, but he was missing from his bed. My cousin looked around for him, and finally found him sitting in one of the cars. He had swiped all the keys and had them in his pocket. He was slumped over, holding the wrong key. Unfortunately he had died.
Once the doctor had arrived to pronounce him dead and that nothing untoward had happened to him, we carried him inside and lay him on his bed. We all just had a bit of breakfast and sat around just looking at him, till the family's minister came over to have a prayer and talk about the funeral.
The funeral home people soon came to put him on one of those stretchers and take him away.
What made the day difficult was I had my first exam - an oral exam later that afternoon. I had no idea how I was going to get through it! Once my uncle had been taken away though, there was nothing much left we could do, so my brothers and I went home to have lunch. Aonghas then took Hamish and I to uni for our exams.
I pretty much screwed my oral exam. I couldn't detect the issue in the case until I got to the role-play station with the 'doctor'. After the exam, I was with my friend Natalie when I told her what had happened and when she asked me what my uncle was like I just broke down. I have no idea why! Throughout the morning I managed to maintain my composure, but then I just couldn't contain it. She took me to see a tutor to explain what had happened, as I was a bit reluctant to do so. I didn't want to use my uncle's passing as an excuse for my poor performance, plus I didn't think applying for compassionate consideration would be worth it anyway. Still though, I'm lucky to have a friend like Natalie who kept encouraging me to do so and supported me. I felt a lot better after talking to her!
I just can't help thinking that this was a fitting way for my uncle to go. He had a passion for cars, loved having friendly chats with anyone and always had interesting and amusing stories to tell, and remained independent till the end.
RIP Uncle David. You will be missed.