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heavy thoughts.

There was something not right with me yesterday. There was something so off balance that even my three-year-old students noticed it when they commented on how abnormally tranquille I was. I too was aware of it. I figured it was just a cocktail of mid-winter blues chased with day one of my monthly lady dues that was making me feel so drained, heavy and sad. This isn't my usual reaction for this time of the month, but these days I'm open to any changes as I'm growing into a new decade of my life.

Coming home, I made a pot of tea and flopped onto my bed to re-watch season two of Bored to Death, a show that oddly enough, I find comfort in. When Aurel came home and saw me curled up with my childhood Little Mermaid blanket that still smells like my mom's house, and that is only pulled out from the top closet in cases of extreme emergencies, he grew concerned.

I had no answers for him. I just felt that something was wrong, something was profoundly weighing on me. But since I couldn't detect its origins I just needed to let it pass. This was going way beyond needing to adjust to couples life...something was not right...

This morning, after coming home from my morning run, before rinsing off in the shower I decided to check Facebook to see if Aurel was on to let him know that we received our first RSVP to the wedding.

Upon signing in, I read that Ginger had her baby! This news after a four-mile run immediately perked me up, and felt the blues from the night before melting away...

And then I scrolled down further...

....and this is when I learned that my 58-year-old uncle had passed away in the middle of the night.

I experienced this sort of thing the morning my father passed away. Something felt terribly wrong the 24 hours before, but because it was my own father, I knew where my anguish was coming from. I had spent that morning working my 6 am shift at the Hollywood coffee shop waiting for the phone to ring, with instructions from my mom to come back home for the forth time that month.

Facebook is hardly the place where anyone would want to discover such news (nor is a Hollywood diner), but this is one of the sacrifices of living away from your family. Important news gets passed on through e-mails and in this case, Facebook statuses. 

Feeling completely disoriented, I needed to speak to someone at once. I turned my ancient Nokia phone on and desperately tried to access my phonebook to get in touch with Eric, my uncle's driver here in Paris whom I hadn't spoken to in over a year. I couldn't get to my phone book because notices that I had unread text messages waiting for me kept freezing my phone up. They were most likely from the parents of my students telling me one is sick or one will be picked up early for a weekend family trip. Every Friday I get flooded with instructions from them via text.

I didn't care about the minutia details of my student's Switzerland weekend getaways at that very moment. I needed to speak to Eric; someone who over the years became a good friend to my uncle here in Paris.

I finally got him on the phone and just broke down. From the tone of his voice I knew that I didn't have to say explain because he understood exactly why I was calling. Yes, my uncle was in a lot of pain and we knew that this was inevitable but that doesn't make it easier. It used to infuriate me to boiling levels when people would tell me that I shouldn't be too sad over the death of my father because I already knew he was sick. That doesn't make it easier. Having experienced both sudden and drawn out deaths, neither of them are "easier".

When I got off the phone with Eric, I retrieved the naggy text messages from the parents...but they weren't from them. They were in fact texts sent earlier this morning from Eric (who doesn't have any connections with the other members of my family in the States). He too felt something was wrong and was checking in, because my uncle was on his mind.

This truly happened and it tells me one thing: my uncle made a pit stop here in Paris before going...

It makes sense, he always loved this place.

25 comments:

  1. Oh Ella. Sending love and hugs, hope you are doing ok. I am sure Seb is looking after you. Let me know if you want to meet up for a coffee soon. xx

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  2. Sorry to hear about your uncle:( You're right: knowing in advance that someone will die doesn't make it any easier. Heck, we're ALL gonna die one day and it's still painful when it happens!

    I think he DID make a pit stop in Paris before he left...

    Are you gonna go home for the funeral?

    Big hugs xoxoxoxo

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  3. I'm really sorry to hear this, Ella. I found out about the death of a friend on Facebook and it was so hard to believe it was real. Like you, I felt the need to contact someone straight away to make sense of it. All my sympathies to you and your family.

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  4. I am so sorry for your loss, Ella and for the terrible way that you had to find out. And yes, I have experienced something similar so I know that it is possible. It is amazing the ways that we are connected to our loved ones. Wishing that I could give you a big hug.

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  5. Sorry to hear of your loss. Sending you sincere condonences. xxx

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  6. Sorry to hear of your loss. Sending sincere condolences. GMx

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  7. Oh Ella, I am so sorry for yours and Erics Loss.

    I agree that whether it is sudden or drawn out grief is always painful. I can never get used to people dying.

    Maybe it is comforting that he seemed to drop by you both in Paris to say a final goodbye.

    Love Denise

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  8. Oh Ella! I am so sorry to hear about your loss. A loss is a loss and they are never easy. You and Eric are in my thoughts today.

    You gave me chills when you wrote: "my uncle made a pit stop here in Paris before going..." So sweet that he thought to stop by one last time to say hey.

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  9. Oh sweets. What a tough way to find out something so sad. I hope talking to someone in Paris who knew your uncle made you feel less alone and far from home.

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  10. So sorry to hear about your uncle, but I'm glad you were able to fathom the cause of all the weighty feelings. Hopefully you and Eric can help each other through this

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  11. So sorry for your loss. This entry is beautifully written and I believe so much in the gut feelings that you and Eric experienced. It speaks volumes to the connection you must both have with your uncle. My condolences to you, your family, and Eric.

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  12. Your uncle sounds like a wonderful man. The way you and Eric sensed what happened, his visit, is so special. I hope you are doing okay. Sending you love and a big hug ~

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  13. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. It's so so rough in times like these to be so far from your family. *hugs*

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  14. Oh, I am so sorry for your loss. How I hate when those feelings are spot on. I hope you've found comfort in conversation and contact this weekend. Bis.

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  15. Oh I am sorry. From reading about him I always thought I'd really like your uncle.

    Unfortunately I am going through something similar. May happier times be ahead

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  16. hi darling. a big hug to you and thinking of you. so sorry for your loss and i know seb is there for you but i'm also here whenever. lots of love x

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  17. So sorry to hear this chérie. It's always extra tough to be so far away at times like these. Lots of love xx

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  18. Oh, I'm so, so sorry. That's just awful. I'm keeping you and your family in my thoughts.

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  19. Thinking of you cherie, darling. Here is a virtual hug for you.

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  20. sorry for your loss kiddo....sending good thoughts your way..

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  21. So sorry for you loss...
    Hugs
    Sylvia S.

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  22. Thank you all for your comments and e-mails. It means a lot to me that you took the time to reach out.

    I was out of the loop this past weekend because we didn't have internet out in the country. I'll check in with all of you tonight or tomorrow (at the latest). Thanks for being such great blogger friends. : )

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  23. Hi Ella,

    Just catching up on my favorite blogs and just saw your post, I am so so so so sorry for your loss. There is not much I can say that your other readers haven't, but just know that there are lots of people out there that have you in their prayers and thoughts.

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  24. I am so so sorry for your loss Ella. I burst into tears at the thought of your uncle saying goodbye to you and Eric one last time..

    Most of us can only wish for that kind of encounter when a loved one passes. You are truly loved and I hope the grief becomes easier to cope with over time.

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  25. I wish I had something to say to help ease the pain of the loss, but I know that nothing any of us say can. But I am truly sorry that you lost someone you love. Cuddle up with Seb, and your Little Mermaid blanket, and just know that you have a friend in The LPV that's thinking of you and sending you good thoughts x

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