I’ve been imagining writing this for days. I haven’t managed to come up with anything elegant, or amazing, or that does any justice at all to what has happened, so I’m not going to try. I’ll leave poems and thoughts for another day, when I feel more ready.

My darling uncle, Tupper McPhee, died on Friday.

He will be desperately missed. We knew it was coming, but it doesn’t do much to help.  Even with the warning,  we were not reconciled to the loss, and we are in no way prepared for a family that doesn’t include him, although we are very, very grateful that he is past his hard time.   In the end, he left he way he wanted to – assuming he had to at all.   He was at home, asleep, with his darling Susan beside him, and his steadfast sister (my mum) alongside.  The two of them deserve shining admiration for their care of him. They have been entirely in his service, and so strong it would break your heart to see it.

After weeks of waiting, I had decided together with my mum and family that the best thing I could do was to go to Colorado and fulfil my work obligations. Staying home didn’t help anyone, and would have hurt several people, and besides, we agreed that the odds were with me.  Unfortunately, I was wrong, and our Tupper died while I was on the plane, headed towards Conifer.  When I learned that he had gone I made the only decision that I could, separated from my family,  and unable to get home.  I decided to set it aside, and make my way through those days as best I could, without addressing it, or accepting sympathies. Special thanks to everyone who knew I was walking a line and was not too nice to me.  It’s sympathy that can put you over the edge, and I couldn’t deal with it.  Today I flew home, and I hope you will all forgive me while I take a few days to grieve, attend Tupp’s service, and finally be with my people.  We need each other.

Stephie (me) and Tupper. 1969. (It’s the only picture of him I have with me right now, and I do like it.)

Thanks for the time Tupp.  For the crosswords, for the books, for the invisible cows and the dancing.  I’ll do the stuff we talked about. I got this.  Have a good rest. I love you.  FFOHTL.