I had a sad dream last night in which one of my uncles died. When I woke up and remembered that he was still alive, I was very glad! The kind of glad that makes you want to call everyone you care about and tell them you love them. Instead of actually calling anyone, I just want to say that I am very grateful for this online community. I really appreciate you all. Sincerely.
Then I remembered that a different uncle died last week. This one doesn’t deserve the title ‘uncle’, so from now on he will be called Greasy.
My first memories of him include fear. As a toddler, I was afraid of him. I tried to avoid him whenever possible. Even remembering this brings back the feeling of a sunny day suddenly turned grey and chilling.
I’m sure he had redeeming qualities. I just never knew him. I look back on his life and see how he hurt my aunt and my cousin and I know that colours how I think of him. If I had seen him in any context other than trying to control or belittle them, I probably could see his humanity and mourn the loss of it. For now, I just mourn his poor choices and am unaware of his good ones.
The last time I saw him was a few years ago. Instead of a toddler’s panic I felt sadness and a bit of disgust. He verbally abused my aunt and limped around as if he was a bantam cock instead of a man artificially old from too much smoking and drinking.
I’m glad he is gone. I am sorry I feel that way, but I do. I’m relieved I will never have to see him again and I hope my aunt will finally be free of whatever hold he seemed to have over her.
Farewell, Greasy. I hope those you’ve left behind will be better for it.