Recently my uncle passed away, today was his Wake. And it was surprisingly welcoming and wholesome.
He was a man who, for most of my life, I didn’t have the closest relationship with. Not for any negative reasons, I just only saw him on holidays. He didn’t have kids of his own, so when I was young, it did feel like he enjoyed the times we had together.
As an adult in recent years, I found myself seeking to understand him more. He was (for the most part) really quiet around family.
One day a year or two ago, my cousin Joey Stormchaser Stageberg and I took Uncle John out to dinner at the Tacoma waterfront to connect as fellow men. It was a wonderful time and I learned so much about him and his life that I had never known before.
Things I wish that I would have known earlier, yet I also don’t know that I would have been able to appreciate his journey as much as I do now.
As I look through the boxes of books that were left to me after he passed – I’m reminded of so many cool things that we talked about at that dinner.
I always knew my Uncle was a permanent “student”, always pursuing an awareness of the truths of life.
But I never knew until recently how he had studied directly under Alan Watts in California… How cool is that?
Or how devout his love for literature was. These boxes are filled with so many different perspectives on important topics such as philosophy or religion, even how to properly please a woman (I know that might feel risque to mention, but I find it to be in alignment with his desire to know the truths of life and his role as a man).
Everything from Watts, to Jung, to Churchill, to Socrates, to Kierkegaard, on and on and on…
So many of the books have notes scribbled throughout them and segments highlighted. Something that I have found myself doing regularly at this point in my life.
I am so grateful for the moments I had with my uncle…
Also, I am grateful for the journey that has been passed to me, to be able to share in his wisdom through the notes he has left in these books. Some of these are out of print, some are very old, most are full of incredibly valuable perspectives. For a fellow bibliophile, this is one of the best gifts one can pass on.