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I’m not a big fan of impromptu large gatherings of people in general; add death of a loved one, tears, fancy clothes, and cold weather at some points during this weekend I felt like I was going to crumble from within.

For years as I was buried in my disorders I avoided big family gatherings in anyway way that I could. I felt ashamed, ugly, a failure, and so anxious I couldn’t stand it. Today while still those feelings lingered from time to time I am far from the place of running in the other direction. I said goodbye to my Uncle, Edward John Casey this weekend in the best possible way: surrounded with more family than I at times know what to do with. I was reminded that its not about what I look like or what I don’t look like. I was reminded its not about me being perfect every second of time (or during any of it at all). It was just about being there saying goodbye together as a big messy bunch. It was about feeling what we each needed to feel when we needed to and being there for each other during those moments.

A few years ago I would have anxiously come up with an excuse to get out of attending a terrifying family function that I was certain I could not handle. And this past weekend I said goodbye to one of the most joyful and full-of-life men that I have ever met surrounded with the love and hugs of the many who loved him.

This one is for you Uncle Ed,

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.