I missed two days of blogging last week because my Uncle was found dead in his home on Thursday morning, due to an apparent heart attack. A myriad of family tasks ensued.

Uncle Walt was single and never had any kids, so his nieces and nephew were as close as it got to having his own tribe.

My uncle loved flying and was an avid pilot his entire career, spending the last 20+ years in Florida. His sense of humor was contagious. He endured many ups and downs and always kept laughing.

Losing someone you love is never easy (understatement) and while I’m certainly not an expert, one heart therapy is focusing on gains that outweigh the loss.  What did they give us while alive? How are we richer from knowing them? So many memories, shared experiences, and for my Dad and Aunt who lost their brother — sibling connection and love.

Many who’ve lost loved ones this year will be experiencing holes that feel bigger during the holidays. We’re missing Ron’s dad, my father-in-law Stanley, who left us in July, too.  First times without someone is pain with no simple remedy. Still, no one can take away the gains our loved ones brought us, and the mark they leave long after they go. 

I spend lots of time on airplanes, and am grateful they’ll be an ongoing reminder of my Uncle Walt Troyer….until we laugh together again!

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