No Regrets….

 
I either read or someone told me I can’t remember which, that you should live your life as though someone is reading your obituary.  I think most of us try, and only some succeed.
 
My Uncle, Christopher Gower-Rees, or as I used to call him Uncle Chrissy passed away suddenly in August , alone on board his boat, “The Gratitude” in Port Townsend, WA, he was born in Salisbury, UK  . I had not spoken to my uncle in quite some time for no other reason than he lived in Victoria and of course I am in Muskoka, we were following different paths as most people do.
He took his path and I took mine. 
 
 
 
 
When I first learned of his death I started to cry and was extremely sad, I then denied myself to feel that way because he had not been in my life for such a long time.  Then I realized how stupid that was, he was my Uncle and a part of my family. He also had quite an impact on my life , when I was younger I wanted nothing more than to be a vet or to do absolutely anything with animals,(as it turns out I sit in front of a computer all day crunching numbers) he had a friend that worked at the Toronto Humane Society and took me there for my own private tour , I met vets, technicians, volunteers and lots of animals we spent the better part of the day there, I’ll never forget that day and the experiences I shared with him! He also took me to my first concert, Linda Ronstadt at Maple Leafs Gardens  🙂 as a kid that was a pretty awesome thing.   I have many memories like that of him to lengthy to list.
 
He was a writer of books, columnist for magazines,a blogger, inventor, newbie documentary film maker, lover of music, life, and a true humanitarian.
I’ve entered below parts of emails I  received and have  learned or already knew about my uncle and I truly believe he was “living” his obituary, as I think/hope I am. 
 
(Friend of my Uncle)
The service for Chris was really wonderful last night.  The church was standing room only.  I think Chris would have been amazed at how many people came to honour his memory.  There was the spreading of his ashes ceremony first, with many in attendance then we came back to the church for much laughter and singing during the service.  I was full of laughter one moment then tears the next.  Your brother was well-loved and affected so many lives. 
 
Thank you for allowing me to read your last words and your children’s wishes for Chris – I am sure it touched many that were in attendance.  There was chuckle here and there as they envisioned Chris doing the things that you had described!  A few sighs as they thought of Chris playing his drums ‘up there’.  On that note, I have the set of bongo drums in my dining room and have hopefully found a home for them with a Music Professor from the University of Victoria that has a drumming program for adults that suffer from anxiety.
 
 My mother was not able to attend and I was given the opportunity to go to Victoria this week but work and family conflicted and I also have never ever travelled alone meow and have only flown once in my life….I have only one small regret that I wasn’t able to say goodbye to him surrounded by people who loved him so much, that being said, he knew me and would understand and know that I will say good-bye in my own way alone.
 
 
 “I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.”
Jimi Hendrix
 
 
Death ends a life, not a relationship.”
Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie