A Personal Loss

I just got a call this morning from my Aunt Judy.

Uncle Frank died in his sleep last night.

This was not unexpected–right after I had written the final post in December, I flew down to stay with them for a week, and came back about three days before Christmas. He was in good spirits then, but it was obvious to us all that he was in great pain and was very tired–he had cerebral palsy–and had suffered from several bouts of pneumonia in the past several years. He was no longer able to swallow, so was being fed by stomach tube, and he was just tired and weak.

Uncle Frank was a wonderful man–he had a PhD in psychology and had taught at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, but I think he was proudest of his clinical work. He was particularly effective with people suffering from PTSD, and was involved in a high-profile court cases involving women who were victims of domestic violence. He was very, very good at calming people who were considered to be too violent for other doctors to deal with, and he was very loving and compassionate.

He was a wonderful husband to Aunt Judy, always supporting her in her creative endeavors and was her best friend in all ways. He, and she, for that matter, helped keep me together during the darkest years of my life, those being the ones immediately following me leaving Morganna’s father, the divorce and long, horrid custody battle. Without the two of them, Zak and Gram, Aunt Judy and my Dad’s mother, I would have not made it through those years, and I am not sure how Morganna would have fared, either.

So, I will be traveling with Zak and Kat soon to Tennessee for the memorial service.

For those of you who do such things, if you could keep my Aunt Judy in your prayers, she and I would appreciate it.

Thank you all.


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  1. I’m so sorry, Barbara. Best wishes to your family, Aunt Judy especially.

    Comment by Alison — January 25, 2009 #

  2. Your uncle sounds like a truly admirable man. What a blessing to have had him in your life!

    I am so sorry for your loss, and your family’s loss – especially your Aunt Judy. It’s going to be so very hard for her, especially the first year.

    Comment by Jehannamama — January 25, 2009 #

  3. You and your family will be in our thoughts. I am sorry for your loss.

    Comment by matt — January 25, 2009 #

  4. Your family and especially Aunt Judy will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Comment by Cindy — January 25, 2009 #

  5. Dear Barbara, I am very sorry to hear about your loss.

    May he rest in peace.

    Comment by Maninas — January 25, 2009 #

  6. I’m very sad to read this, Barbara. Wishing you and your family all the best at this difficult time.

    Comment by Trig — January 25, 2009 #

  7. Sincerest condolences to you and your family. You are all in my thoughts.

    Comment by Mamlambo — January 25, 2009 #

  8. Consider it done. And our deep condolences to you and your whole family.

    Comment by Maggi — January 25, 2009 #

  9. I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. Even when somewhat expected, it is still so hard. My best thoughts go out to your whole family.

    Comment by Diane — January 25, 2009 #

  10. I’m sorry for your loss as well. My best wishes to you and your family.

    Comment by Johanna — January 26, 2009 #

  11. I wish you, Aunt Judy and Morganna well through this trying time.

    Comment by maureen — January 26, 2009 #

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