My Uncle Jim died a few weeks ago. Before you think “Oh—how sad” let me tell you a few things about this man. He abused my father’s sister both physically and mentally for who knows how long. Even when her debilitating depression and MS was at its worse, his wrath did not subside. In addition to his dubious skills as a husband, he also had some interesting ideas on parenting. His oldest son apparently made a good punching bag and his youngest child, a daughter, was a sex toy from the time she was 8 until she was 13. Only his middle son seems to have survived youth with minimal physical abuse at the hands of a parent. But, the mental and emotional scars are all over all three of my cousins.
For the last 11 months of Uncle Jim’s life he was in the hospital. Heart surgery, constant infections and pretty much anything else you can imagine was what he dealt with on a daily basis. Karma was doing its thing on this one. Shortly after my aunt died, my uncle remarried and this woman was by his side through all of this time. She ingratiated herself with my cousin’s wife (who knew nothing of the “ways” of this man) and took the role of Grandmother to their three boys. She blogged almost daily about her husband’s condition and often mentioned the “grandsons” and occasionally my cousin’s wife. Rarely, hardly ever really, did she mention her husband’s children.
About two weeks before my uncle (I have yet to come up with a term for him that shows no real connection to me) died, his wife emailed my cousin, the middle child, and once again chastised him and his siblings for being so uninterested in his father’s condition. She went so far as to say that Jim had always told her that his kids abandoned their mother when she was dying (a falsehood!) and he expected them to do the same to him. This set my cousin off in ways I can’t even believe, yet completely understand. He directed her to contact his sister and see what some of the reason that they have issues with their father might be.
My cousin was contacted and she spilled the whole story to “the wife” who retorted with “Oh yeah, I knew that.”
Really? She knew that and still asked why the kids weren’t holding vigils at their father’s bedside? Seriously, who in the world did she think she was kidding? If she did know, she is as twisted as her husband was!
If you ever have the opportunity to go to the funeral of someone who was hated by most who really knew him, do it. Be prepared for surreal moments. There will be very apparent “sides” taken at the gathering after the service. There may be no flowers at the church….NONE! The widow will probably be sitting alone until she gets pity from her 6-year-old “grandson” who decides to sit by her. Discussions of the deceased won’t be about shared happy moments, but more likely comparing notes of how they messed up with nearly all of the people there. Everyone will be asking themselves why they came and most will come up with the same answer “For the kids.” Then you realize that the kids are asking themselves why they are there. I guess the answer on that is a societal obligation, or perhaps it is to make sure the bastard is really dead.
Folks say death is final….but it’s not. There are numerous things to be dealt with after the death of a family member. Many of these things have financial ramifications. In the case of my uncle, he apparently made sure that his wife was taken care of….and no one else. Not his children whose lives he nearly destroyed, not his grandson’s he claimed to love so much. No one but the woman who was stupid enough to marry him at the age of 49. He was her prince charming. Never has life as a “spinster” been more appealing to me. This woman is making sure that her husband is able to get one last jab in at his kids. His kids who have done the best they can with the hand they were dealt. A hand that was dealt with anger and inappropriate behavior and fear.
I know this whole thing is far from over. But I feel that I will be closer to my cousins now and they will be closer with each other.
Upon my departure for the memorial service, my boss gave me a eulogy to give to my uncle.
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
You’ll burn in Hell
For fucking with us
Adios Uncle Jim, you monstrous bastard.