It is never easy when a loved one departs unexpectedly. The thoughts of what if? when was the last… memories come back tenfold with the wishful thinking that maybe if I sleep long enough I’ll wake up and it was all just a bad dream.
How does one surpass grief? There are only a few moments in my life where grief has really caused me heartache; When my aunt Talaise passed (1993), my beloved Pa (1998), my Nana (2000) and on Sept 02, 2012 that unwanted emotion returned.
Sitting in our family home in Savaii I received a call that my beloved Uncle had finally given into his battle with traumatic bleeding to the brain triggered by an unexpected stroke two weeks earlier.
There are no words that can describe the heart ache I felt. He was my second father. Since birth he’d taken me in as his own. Drove me to school, picked me up from piano lessons, bought me lunch when mum and dad couldn’t make it on time, he even pulled up home just in time for this ‘boy’ to drop me off (that I wasn’t suppose to be going out with) and with his calm collective self advised me to do the right thing (no fasi *sigh of relief*!) LOL. His quiet nature, creative humour, warm smile are things that make it hard to accept he is no longer with our family.
He was always there cheering me on with a nod and unspoken exclamation of praise. Never once did he ask anything of us only that we grown up to be responsible, successful adults. Because like they all say ‘one day I will not be here but you’ll be ok because you’ve been taught well’.
It was hard to capture the moments of our last days with you Uncle. Your handsome face up close, you are such a sleeping beauty. Like you always said ‘in God we trust’ and so we give it all up to him. I will never forget your love for us all, our family and the plans you had for our aiga in Samoa.
Manuia lou malaga le tama peleina. E le galo oe. Alofa e le mavae 😦
In loving memory of Ioane Tominiko …forever in my heart.