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July 6, 2014

Sharing Memories Week 27: First Loss

Uncle Ern in front of his store Toronto Ontario
Join us for Sharing Memories - A Genealogy Journey We focus on memories of our parents, grandparents and others. We write for our children and grandchildren, that the memories are not lost over time. I hope you are keeping a journal, whether it is private or public, and joining us as we write our memoirs.

The prompt for this week is First Loss

We've all experienced it - the first passing of someone close to you. Yes it's devastating. It's hard to talk about sometimes. But it is part of our own journey through life and it's a lovely remembrance of someone you held dear. In my case it was one of my grandmother's brothers. The first death was such a shock to me. I was 11 years old and no one in the family had died so I had no experience with death. And at 11 you don't generally think about losing relatives or friends. 

But suddenly Uncle Ernie wasn't coming to visit anymore. I don't recall being told he was gone but it certainly impacted on our lives. He and his wife used to drive from Toronto to see us quite frequently. I remember him as such a jovial friendly man - somewhat short in stature but big in heart. 

This is one of my favourite photos of Uncle Ern. It was taken long before I was born and is a picture of the store he opened when he first came to Toronto from England. By the time I knew him this store no longer existed. I am lucky enough to have dozens of photos of Uncle Ern and his family and they span 60 plus years. 

Uncle Ern's passing was just the start of me learning how to say goodbye to family and to friends. There were several deaths in the space of the next 3 years - my father, my grandmother, more uncles and a school friend. But this sharing memory is about the first loss I experienced, and that was my very kind and good-hearted Uncle Ern.

What was yours?


Unknown said...

What a lovely post!

Dana Leeds said...

What a lovely photo! Thank you for sharing your story. I'm in the process of starting to blog more regularly now that we have moved into our new house. I'll have to think about my first loss... I know my grandmother died when I was 3, but I don't remember the loss. And, the next one I remember is my grandfather when I was 17. I'll have to think about it and see if anyone else comes to mind that I'm just forgetting at this point.

Dana Leeds said...

I came up with my first real loss...

Thanks for these weekly ideas!