Originally Posted by Lisa99
My uncle was attending the funeral of another of my uncles. During the service he had a heart attack. He passed away today.
He had a good life and was 87. Our family reunions will just not be the same without the family jokester...I'm sad today.
When 'just one more year' syndrome tries to rear it's ugly head I hope I can rember this day and remember why we don't need more money, we just need more time.
Sorry for your loss, Lisa. My grandpa -- my dad's dad -- died of cancer in 1976 when I was 11. I have so many fond memories of him as a jokester as well -- we used to visit him and Grandma frequently on weekends. He sounds a lot like your uncle. There was almost nothing Grandpa couldn't make funny.
My last memory of him was how, when he was really close to death that summer, we started talking about a planning a big family gathering at my uncle's house (Dad's brother) for Thanksgiving. This seemed to breathe new life into Grandpa. His condition rapidly improved. He gained strength, started eating again, got some color back into his cheeks and improved his spirits. He had something to keep fighting for, something to keep him going for a few months.
Fast forward to Thanksgiving 1976. We were all there -- most of the extended family, at my aunt and uncle's ranch north of San Francisco. And there was Grandpa, who in August looked like he had a few days to live... he wore his best suit (though not filling it out as he used to), was able to walk around on his own power (having been totally bedridden a few weeks earlier) and was the life of the party, cracking jokes left and right. You could see the joy in his face just to be there. He had made it. One last time to shine with all the family he loved, and he made the most of every minute of it. It was, for that reason, the most memorable Thanksgiving we ever had -- such a bittersweet time...
Less than three weeks later, he was dead at 68. He did what he was determined to do and did it with a flair -- out with a bang. With that accomplished, he let himself go.
The silver lining is that the extreme sadness fades with time, but the good memories of fun times are with you for life.
And yeah, it is a reminder about the "one more year" thing. We can't (usually) buy ourselves more time. It's also a reminder to not completely deprive yourself today for a tomorrow there's no guarantee we're even going to see.