My uncle Benson died last week aged 67. Too young, like his brother — my dad — who went aged 64 back in 2006.
I’m not going to write a ton here about our family, and my relationship with Benson. That is a later post that needs more thinking and work. I will say that Benson, a jazz pianist and airline pilot, was a huge inspiration to me when I was younger, and that I was always very happy to see him and visit him and, later, to play music with him. We were both lousy at keeping in touch, so I didn’t see much of him after Kim and I moved to Europe in 2015. I have lots of time to regret that now.
In my life, I’ve lost a number of people — my best friend Tom Nilon, Benson, Dad himself — well before their time. The advance knowledge that there are no rules to this does not make it any easier to deal with. Wiser people than I make a priority of maintaining a robust connection with the people they care about, because they understand that every contact could be the last. I am slowly getting better at this, but… well, there just isn’t much time. Use it wisely.
UPDATE: For those who have asked, there will be a service on Saturday at the James J. Terry Funeral Home, 1060 West Lincoln Hwy, in Coatesville Pa.