My unlce passed away on christmas day

My ever concerned mother thought it is better that I be not told about his death,lest i get worried and fall ill. Her justification,”you live in Canada,on the other side of the planet,we can’t even take a plane and be with you on the same day, if anything happens to you”
So here I am, 26 days after my unlce passed away, yesterday while speaking to my mother, she casually mentioned “oh by the way your uncle passed away on christmas morning.”
I feel numb..
In my 3 decades of life on planet earth, I have never been to a funeral, except for my grand ma, no one i know in my family has died until now. Death of a family memeber is not ever thought of. Some how every one was invinsible. Until now.
Every single philosopher said that life is too short and i knew it. Still it didn’t make the connection that people i loved most won’t be around every day of my life.
My fondest memory of my unlce is his blue car and his drunken state. He was the only person i know who could be stoned drunk and still drive. He never had any accident, neither did he have any liver. He had cirrhosis. He knew another drop of alcohol would shorten his life another day. But he could never divorce his lovely companion. Alcohol and he were together since he was 17 years old.
He knew he was dying, yet he chose to drink. Perhaps he thought he has sung the song he was meant to sing. His kids have flown out of the nest and settled in life in their own way. Perhaps there was nothing much to achieve.
I think, now I won’t have much to do with his family. He was the link. He is gone. I suddenly don’t know how to relate to my cousins. I grew up with them, played with them, laughed with them and this morning I don’t know what to tell them. I am hesitant to even call them. In my mind they became strangers. That is odd.. does death end family connections?

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