October 24, 2011


Unfortunately, this is not a Monday Listicle.  I fully intended to write a list today, but life had other ideas.  I'm just not feeling it this week, and I promised myself I would never force a blog post.  That wouldn't be authentic.

However, this post begs to be written.

The thing is, my family on my father's side suffered a great loss on Saturday.  My father's older brother died suddenly, my Uncle Mark.
photo credit
Mark Hibbert

He was just 62 and had no apparent condition or illness.  We suspect a heart attack, but we are awaiting official cause of death.

Uncle Mark was a musician and was with his band mates getting ready and packed up for a gig when he collapsed.  A friend and emergency services tried for an hour to revive him, but he was gone.

My family is reeling right now.  We've also lost my Grandfather and my Uncle Clay, in what I would consider not a very long amount of time, just a handful of years.  The 5 Hibbert siblings are now down to 3.  My poor Grandmother has had to say goodbye to 2 of her children.  I can't understand this.  My cousins and my uncle's long-time girlfriend are devastated.

My father called me right after my Aunt Renee, his sister, called him.  He said the words "Mark Hibbert has just died" (he had to use his brother's last name because of my Mark) but I could hardly repeat those words until I spoke with my dad again later and he let me know he had actually seen him.  It was real.

I have been lucky to have not experienced very much death in my life up until now.  Both my parents are still living and so are some grandparents.  My husband is still with me.  That in itself is huge.  I am grateful for every day I continue to have with my Mark, and no matter how many more we have, I will continue to be grateful.

But now?  Now I am starting to have experiences with death.  I imagine this must be the worst thing about getting older.  I now know the difference between an expected death, when someone is dying and you know it, and a sudden death.  Even when you know someone is dying, it doesn't make the day it happens any easier.  When someone dies suddenly, it's actually frightening.  I felt scared and vulnerable after getting that phone call.

Everyone in my family is stunned, floored, bewildered and just so sad.  It breaks my heart.

Sunday morning my Facebook feed was a virtual tribute to Uncle Mark.  From my Aunt Renee sharing everything she came across about my uncle, to my cousin Sara sharing the memories of the kindred spirit she found in our uncle as a musician.  Then this morning, my cousin Caitlin simply loving and missing her dad.

My prayer right now is that whomever reads this will send their prayers and warm thoughts our way, to help hold my family during this sad time.  Thank you.

"Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak
whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break."
~ William Shakespeare


  1. I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family!

  2. I'm so sorry.

    I'm at working staring at my cell phone waiting for a call telling me if my father in law has made it through brain surgery. Terrible time.

    my condolensces

  3. I'm sorry you lost your uncle. I'm glad your family can all be there for each other during this sad time.

  4. I am so sorry. ((HUGS)) Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  5. I'm so sorry, Jen. I'll be holding your family in my thoughts and prayers tonight.

  6. I am so very sorry for your loss. You and your family are certainly in my thoughts.

  7. I hope you find comfort in all the wonderful memories you have of him. A prayer your way.

  8. I am so sorry for your loss. We lost our uncle at a very young age unexpectedly a few years ago. It's important that you are there for your dad. My dad and his brother were very close and it was harder on him than I'd ever imagined. I hate that your family is going through this. Thoughts are with you, your dad and your whole family. XOXO, Ali

  9. Why is it that words do not convey our feelings the way they promised they would; when we began to speak; when we needed a way to express ourselves; words were to be the way.

    Words cannot come close to pain;
    Words do not know the way.

    Maybe it is better this way.

    Our words, our pain,
    Please separate...

    Please do not come together today.

  10. Ah Jen I am so sorry for your loss. It sucks, death just sucks.

  11. Sending condolences to you and your family during this difficult time. May you and your family find peace.