Bernie's Death

at 3:40 AM

It was October 28th, 2006 and I was only seven. I was in a little silver car with my mom when I got the news: he died. My Uncle Bernie was gone, he was on a "permanent vacation" as my mom had said. Bernie's death changed my life. I would no longer have yearly trips to his townhouse in New York or ever learn how to make an awesome ring out of a one dollar bill. I'm sure everyone living has lost someone very close to them: a parent, a grandparent, an aunt or maybe even an uncle.

My family was sitting at the small coffee table in my living room discussing a topic way over my head at the time. All I heard was "dead," "Bernie," "New York," and "Halloween." The one thing I understood was that I was staying at my friend B's house in San Francisco while my parents flew to New York for a funeral on the night of Halloween.

Now it was October 31st, the day of Halloween. The butterflies in my stomach morphed into crickets as the car crept closer to B's house. The car halted to a stop and before I knew it my parents were with me at the front door of the house handing me my duffle bag. They hugged me, said they loved me, and quickly hopped into the car. I stared up at the castle B called her house and slowly rang the doorbell.

That night, B was saying "Trick or Treat" with a smile gracing her face while I was slouching behind her grouchily. How could I be happy while my parents were off at Bernie's funeral? I felt sick to my stomach; Bernie was so close to me. I didn't even eat any candy that night. I just curled up in my dad's oversized sleeping bag and cried.

I felt a little bit excited when I went to the airport to get my parents-- the high point of the week. I was reluctant to hear about the sad event of Bernie's funeral but they told me anyway. They said the funeral was colorful and amazing, there was singing and dancing, a celebration of Bernie's life. They had all of his favorite foods, and we can't forget his all time favorite drink, orange juice. Knowing that it wasn't just mourning his death, I felt better. But, every year on Halloween, I still feel terrible. I'll always remember the warm fuzzy feeling when Bernie invited me and my mom to stay with him in his large townhouse in New York. I'll never forget anything about my favorite uncle. From his death, I learned to never take anyone or anything for granted.

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With a Perspective, I'm Lily.

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