Today has been a somber day around the Mathews household.
Brad’s uncle unexpectedly passed away this morning. It was the saddest news to wake up to, and the whole family is hurting from the awful news.
I barely knew Ernie, but the day has been full of stories from Brad about a man full of life, energy, attitude and a profound love for his family and friends. People have been remembering him on Facebook as a fireman, a NASCAR fan, a friend, a husband, a buddy, a troublemaker, and so much more.
I called my mom for a bit of perspective at one point today, because she almost always has the right words for me. I loved one thing she mentioned.
When Clarence Clemons passed away a few years ago, Bruce Springsteen wrote a Eulogy for him. And in his beautiful speech, he said that, “Clarence doesn’t leave the E Street Band when he dies. He leaves when we die.”
He goes on to explain how Clarence formed all of these stories, these memories, these experiences and this love with the people he touched in his life. And Clarence may have moved on to a different world, whatever and wherever that may be, but as long as those memories and that love remains – he has not died.
It is hard as a human being to accept that a person has moved on to the next life. It is hard to accept that they are no longer here in their physical form. But today, and every day after today, we will keep all of those we love who have passed here in this world through their spirit, their love, and their stories.
Tonight I will look at the moon and raise my glass to Ernie, a man I barely knew, because you made my family smile in so many ways. I will send out all of my love to those hurting and those bonding together to keep living, to keep breathing, but learning how to do it without you by their side. And I will listen to all of the stories of your debauchery, your silliness, and your love.
Rest peacefully, Uncle Ernie. You will live on through the generous amount of love you left here on this earth.