Monday, October 27, 2014


It is with a heavy heart that I write today about the sudden passing of my uncle Shane.  He was more than an uncle to me. He was a dear friend, co-worker, supporter, confidante, sounding board, and always a true 'coyote uncle'.  He will be missed dearly by family, including his wife, four children, three grandchildren as well as hundreds (or maybe thousands) of friends.

The turnout at the visitation, funeral and wake was a testament to how many lives he touched. He really cared about people and was always connecting with people. In this world of social media and increasing volume of impersonal interactions like email and texting, he had a true gift of relationships and fostering friendships.  These stories about Shane and his goofiness are things that I will pass along to my children as they grow up.

Quinn and Olivia actually attended their first funeral just a week prior to Shane's when we celebrated the life of Jason's Meemaw, Thelma Tolliver who died after years of health struggles.  Meemaw's celebration was beautiful and there was a really nice luncheon in the church afterwards where possibly the best cake either of my kids have ever tasted was served (I know Meemaw would have approved!).

Here's a picture of Jason with Meemaw at our engagement party back in 2010.

So we promised the kids that if they sat through Shane's funeral and behaved well, "there might be cake" afterwards.  At the end, Olivia bounced down the aisle at the church exclaiming "let's go eat cake now!"  I made Jason promise that if I die first, he will serve cake at my funeral (and we decided collectively as a family that all funerals should have cake!).

The kids and I sat in the front row of the church during Shane's service and Quinn was absolutely transfixed by the chanting of Tibetan monks during part of the ceremony.  I am definitely going to expose him to more of that as it really had an impact on him. The chanting itself was 'otherworldly' and instilled a blanket of peace over the entire church.  I will never forget how eloquent and wonderful the eulogy was that Patrick (somehow) delivered.  His siblings helped him write it, but the delivery would obviously be a challenge.  I think he has nerves of steel.

I wish I had better news today but I do know that life goes on but that doesn't make it any easier in times like this.  The kids really help to remind me of that on a daily/hourly basis.

Love always and live life to its fullest.  You never know when you will be called home.

xoxo ~Claire