I lost my closest aunt and uncle this past year. Neither was directly Covid related unless perhaps the stress of living through these times was a contributing factor. They were both in their 60s. Nothing prepared us for it, no warning. They just dropped dead and then we got the shocked and devastated phone call.
My aunt Kathi was in every way my third parent. She was there alongside my parents in every moment that mattered. She was the most generous person I ever knew and was behind the majority of the most fun experiences of my life, from concerts to trips to Disneyland.
My Uncle Brian was both a rocket scientist who worked at NASA and also the goofiest member of the family, always having my cousins and me rolling on the floor with laughter. In recent years, we became closer when he asked me to make recordings of songs he had written over the course of his life, which eventually turned into a full album.
They were here, and then suddenly they were gone, and not a day goes by when that gets any easier to process. It’s put my own life in grim perspective. I’ve always pursued music as my dream and passion, even forsaking college for it. It hasn’t led to much yet, but I love it that it hasn’t really bothered me yet that I’m 33 years old without a family or a steady job.
With these losses, that has changed. I’ve always felt I had all the time in the world to make something of my life. Now I see my parents in their early 60s, petrified of losing them, and desperately wanting them around to know my future wife and kids and see me have a successful life. The worth of all those things will be cut in half if they’re not around to experience them with me.
I don’t really know how these new reflections will change my approach to life in tangible ways going forward, but I feel the clock ticking in ways I never have before.