1st July 2016

Uncle Alan,

Where do I begin? I’ll start by telling you how sorry I am that I was away during your last few painful days. I was truly devastated when Mandy called me with the news. It upsets me even more, that I can’t be with you today to say a final goodbye. I have shed a few tears and will probably do so again, today, while I am away with my daughter. We will raise a (very small) glass of whisky to you at dinner tonight!!

There are so many others things I would like you to know. They are the little things you’d like to say to someone special but rarely get the chance, or you’re too shy to say. Hopefully this letter will reach you, as whether you believe in heaven or not, I think you have to believe that there is something after this life and, someone waiting for you on the other side.

We hadn’t known each other that well, for that long, but sometimes in life, you just meet someone for a short time who leaves a huge impression on your heart. Well, Uncle Alan, you have left a massive one on mine.

You understandably had your ‘off’ days when you were sad, fed up, or in pain and felt you were more than ready to throw in the towel, but the man I will always remember, is the one with the amazing smile, come rain or shine! That heart warming smile, that was always there when Mandy and I walked into the room.

I loved listening to your stories, we both did and hearing you talk so fondly of Sicily. The tears in your eyes tugged at my heartstrings, but somehow, even on those darker days, you still managed to make us laugh and smile.

I will always think of you as kind, funny, generous and a true gentleman. You could have had the worst day, but you always asked after my family and were very generous to Frankie. She didn’t say it to you in person, but she was so thankful for your kindness and will cherish Sicily’s sewing machines forever.

Your wonderful smile is imprinted in my mind. I have a fabulous photo of you, Mandy and I on New Year’s Eve with the biggest smile on your face, so I am lucky that I will get to see that smile every single day and I will smile right back at you!!😉❤️ You will be forever, firmly fixed on a well deserved pedestal in my mind, as you were a good, honest, wonderful man.

I adopted you as my very own Uncle (I think you knew this) because you welcomed me so lovingly into your life. I miss you Uncle Alan, I really do. But I know you were ready to go, therefore although I am selfishly sad, I am also incredibly relieved that you are finally at peace and back in Sicily’s arms, exactly where, for the last year at least, you were so desperate to be.

Uncle Alan, I’m probably boring you now. I can just picture you reading this to Sicily and rolling your eyes with that little throw back of your head haha!!!

Rest in peace & goodbye, my wonderful friend. I will never forget you, I love you and I truly am incredibly happy and honoured to have met you.

Thank you to my husband, for introducing me to your wonderful family. Without them, I would tragically never have met you. I will be ever grateful to Mandy too, she is the reason I first came to see you in your home and I am so thankful that I came to see you with her that day. All of them loved you so much, probably more than you ever realised. You have taught me to appreciate family and friends and give them the respect and time they deserve.

Uncle Alan, I truly will Love you forever, now listen, I must have just one more quick word in your ear so you don’t get told off in your new home in the sky! Behave up there young man!! However, if there is a bottle of whisky up there to hand, raise your glass to everyone while they say their goodbyes to you and shed their tears today. I do have a feeling the Angels will be keeping a little eye you though, so maybe just one glass! ( then you can drink as much as you like when they’re not looking!!) ☺️😇 Now go and be young and happy again and never stop smiling!!!
All my love, with all of my heart, ❤️
Goodbye my Uncle Alan,

Emma,
(Mandy’s little friend!!!)
XXXX

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