I knew I would need a lot of courage to get through the day. I woke to the sound of someone gently knocking on my bedroom door. It was my dad, he looked very pale and his eyes were red raw, as if he had been crying. He came in and sat at the end of my bed, he looked sorrowfully at me and said “Raymond passed away this morning. ” I sat there, still, not sure what my reaction to this news was. Raymond was my uncle, brother of my mom, he was fifty two and he had lung cancer.
I had seen him the day before, myself and my cousin Orla from America on my dad’s side had gone shopping in Eyre Square with my mom. We were on the way home and had decided to stop by at her brother’s house to see how he was. It had been the first time in so many months that I had seen him. I greeted his wife Una, who was busy distracting herself with cleaning. I walked into the living room, which instead of the usual leather couch, held a hospital bed, and he lay there. He was but barely able to breathe by himself.
He was white, like the colour of the walls; his hands were laid by his side. His head shaven as he didn’t like to watch it fall out. His seven teen year old daughter sat beside him. She looked just like him. My mom seemed at peace with the situation, she has been trying to accept his fate ever since he was diagnosed three years ago. We silently left as more arrived and that night I went home as my uncle drew his last few breaths. So that morning I up, at first I moved in a type of monotone style. My granny who was eighty eight and my dad’s mom, walked down to ours for breakfast.Order now
She had already heard. My father told her. After breakfast I walked her home and left my younger brother Dara, with my older brother Paul, as my mother had left that morning to call the time of death. On the way back to my house I met my cousins, Orla and Roisin who paid their respects. They invited me along with them to a day out that was unplanned and adventurous. We travelled in my Auntie Delores’s car, my dad’s sister. We drove to Kinvara and I sat on the stony beach wrapped in a blanket and chatted with Orla as the others walked and collected seashells.
When they returned we decided to go for some food, we strolled about until we came to a place called Murphy’s there’s one in every town. Orla and Roisin and I found a table while my Auntie looked in the next door shop. My younger cousin Rosin, who was nine, looked up at me and asked what he was like. And at this moment realization hit me. Through the whole day I was in denial. It was only until this little girl asked me to tell her about someone she never even heard of until this morning. And I cried.
The waitress came over and offered me a tissue and directed me towards the bathroom. I stayed there for twenty minutes and just cried, and when I stopped I felt lighter, Freer and this is said by every on, but as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders. And I sat there in the stall and I said a prayer to Raymond to thank him for all he had done. From the time he first met me, to the time he accidentally dropped plaster on my head when I was five and had to shave the top of my head after it, to that finale day that he lay peaceful in the hospital bed.