I’ve been trying to write about my uncle’s death without much success. He died in June and I made notes, things I wanted to say and couldn’t at the time. But, for some reason, I can’t put myself in that place again. It’s not because of the grief, I must confess that I don’t feel grief and didn’t at the time. There was a sense of loss, but no real pain or ache at his death. It sounds so cruel and heartless to put these words out there, but it is the truth. Tío Pablo was not my favorite person. He took advantage of my father’s illness to take the family business from us. He lied to my father and cheated him and used him in ways that no family member should. He took by father’s fear of his disease, and his loyalty and trust in him and used it to his advantage. And when the dust settled, my father was alone in a nursing home, with no income and a $20K debt to the IRS, and my uncle was the man in charge, owner of 2 houses and no debts. And so, when I think of him, that’s where I stumble.
And now there comes the judgment from the world. I know all the words about forgive and forget, I should let it go, that he’s dead now and God will take care of it, that it’s not right to hold a grudge, that it’s not healthy, etc., etc., etc. They’re just words. And they don’t take into account the time he accused my mother of stealing from the cash drawer at the little store he and my Dad used to own. Or the time he told me that I would never amount to anything because I was just like my mother. Or the time he told my mother, because he happened to be in a weird mood, that my Dad went to strip clubs because she was fat now. Or all the times my father slighted us in favor of him, chose him, preferred him, supported him and left us to fend for ourselves.
I wanted to write about his funeral, how his widow has already picked his replacement and what the world is like without him. I wanted to go on about my mother’s behavior during the funeral and Linda’s apparent need to vent and Arianna’s desire to pretend that we were a happy family. And I mostly wanted to write about Juan’s reaction to the death. This is the second death in our immediate family he’s survived, and I don’t know how he’s taking it.
But I can’t. I don’t want to get wrapped up in the family politics again. I don’t want to be that person. So I’m going to let his death go and not write about it again. At least for now.