Departed Uncle Inspires Campaign That Will Shake Your Love Awake

Departed uncle inspires man to reach out to those that we love.


Don’t send them.

My former colleague, Tim, lost his beloved Uncle Bill this week.

His “changed-my-life-one-of-my-favorite-people” kind of uncle.

People send flowers.

That’s what they do at times like these.

Tim says don’t do it.

Not because he didn’t adore this man.

Oh, how he adored him.

Still does.

“He’s the man who influenced me to become a journalist,” he says marking his own life journey with clarity.

Tim grew up watching his mother’s older brother run a newspaper, write a column.

“The way he told stories,” Tim reminisced. “The way he was with people. A stranger was just a friend Uncle Bill hadn’t met yet.”

This was a man who had a wife, six kids, 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren.

A life spilling over the brim with people.

“Even with all that, when he talked to you, he made you feel like you were the only person in the world that mattered.”

That attention.

That little bit of time,

That focus.

They all told Tim he mattered.

Inspired his career choice.

Helped shape the man he wants to be.

So you see,

Flowers aren’t going to cut it.

Have you been there, Dear Reader?

Felt so strongly about someone that you knew flowers just wouldn’t do?

It has to be something else to honor their memory.

Something that lives on longer than cut flowers.

Tim has found his.

For Uncle Bill.

Tim wants you to send yourself.

To someone special,

Special to you.

“If there is a person in your life who has supported you, encouraged you or been there for you who you haven’t spoken to in a while, I’m encouraging you to reach out,” Tim says.



Send an email.

Write an old-fashioned letter.

Just let them know.

They mattered.

“Why that?” I asked. “Are you trying to make up for a missed opportunity?”

“We were good,” Tim assures me. “He was 89-years-old and in declining health, but I feel like the time we got was enough for him to know how I felt. This is about celebrating his dedication to people,” Tim says.

“So, who’s next?” I asked.

“My brothers,” Tim replied without hesitation. “I’ll see them at Bill’s memorial service in a few days. And three weeks from now, my two brothers, my parents and I are having a weekend, just us. No spouses or kids. We get to show up just as ourselves. That’s going to be my chance.”

It probably won’t be long or drawn out.

They are guys, after all.

But they’ll know.

How much they matter to Tim.

Uncle Bill. A man who lived one full life and continues to have an incredible impact now that he’s passed.

Talk about one fine uncle.

One fine newspaper man.

Creating new stories, even after he’s passed on.

And if Tim’s hope is realized, helping you, too.

To pause.

To reach out.

“So who’s it going to be?” Tim messaged me a few hours later. “Who’s your person?”

One face immediately came to mind.

“Can’t be him,” said a voice in my head.

“Has to be him,” another voice countered.

And so it will be.

I’ll share who my person is next week.

I think he’s going to be shocked.

Who is your person? I would love to know!

Please share in the comment box below.

((Please catch my column each week in The Atlanta Journal Constitution, The Dayton Daily News and other Cox Newspapers across the country.)))

And if you enjoy this column about figuring out life, you might enjoy my book,

“Hope Possible: A Network News Anchor’s Thoughts On Losing Her Job, Finding Love, A New Career, And My Dog, Always My Dog.”

final front cover



Departed Uncle Inspires Campaign That Will Shake Your Love Awake

by DarynKagan time to read: 3 min
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