I embrace and respect the many phases of the so called circle of life. I take the bad / challenging phases and learn from them to make the good phases even better.
But, the one phase I can live without is the last phase. The phase where everything you have come to know is challenged and it slowly begins to fade away.
I am talking about the death phase.
I will be blunt. Death fucken sucks.
I am reminded time and time again that our time here is borrowed and last night I was not just reminded. But, I was humbled by the fact that everyone dies.
As much as I try to run from it, hide from it, ignore it, and make believe death is something too far away that I will never see it or experience.
I picture death the way I pictured flying cars when I was 8 years old. Flying cars will happen in a future so far away that I will never see it. So far away that it will never affect me now. So far away that I can only dream of it.
That is the lie I tell my self.
A lie that works until the brief moments that I realize that I am going to die. The moment someone around me dies.
I come to accept that everyone leaves a ripple of life that touches everyone at one point. Even the small ripples of someones life can have a profound effect in your life.
So, I am going to be blunt again. Death fucken sucks!
Last night my uncle passed away.
But, what sucks more is that my family if fragmented. Not, because we are spread across the globe. But because we are fragmented in the different stages of life. Some are living on their planet that their world revolves around them, others are going through their own struggles, and a few of us are good hearted that we treat each other with love and respect with no expectations of seeing that love returned.
Why mention that?
Because when most people are brought together to exchange memories of a love one. My family is fragmented enough that we will only be able to share bits and pieces of those memories with even a smaller group of family members who talk to each other.
I am just happy that as the years go by the fragmentation gets smaller. A few years back my aunt and two cousins became a small part of my life again. I say small only because we don’t coordinate every weekend together. But, it’s nice to see them again at family gatherings or hanging out.
Disclosure - I understand that for the mayority this doesn't make any sense. But, I am not writing this for you. I am not even writing it for those of you that it does make sense. I am being selfish. I am writing this for me to get through my pain.
My uncle had to deal with some inner daemons. Some I witness while others I only imagine of. Thinking back on the pain that he caused and the pain he had to work trough I only hope he was able to sort things out at least to him self.
My uncle was only part of my life in fractured portions. I can put all the memories we shared in a handful of short segments. Those few childhood memories had the longest effect in my adult hood.
He was crazy!
He would often tell me he was crazy. He would tell me about the time he wanted to become a Budapest Monk. When would say “How else would someone in Guatemala attempt to become a Budapest Monk”. I was too young to truly understand how culturally unacceptable the notion of becoming a monk was at the time.
I once witness an exchange my grandmother had with him. Where he apologize for having put her through all the things he put her through and asked how she was able to put up with it. Her answer was simple.
She replied with “Because, you are my son”.
To me. That was crazy. How can so much love be exchanged with such a simple reply.
434 divided by 2 equals 0
Math has never been my favorite subject. As a child I remember once struggling with my long division. I don’t recall how old I was but only that it was the first week of the long division and the term “Remainder x” was new to me.
When your answers now has something like 4 Remainder 2.
This is when I learned that Math was my uncle’s favorite subject. My uncle would tell me. “Everything equals to 0”. To me he was a human calculator. He would easily give you such answers as 4.15248213333333.
I also notice he did not like my “Remainder” type answers. He thought me how to continue to divide down. He said the closer you get to zero the better.
So, there I sat the next morning trying to explained to my teacher that I did not use a calculator to do my homework.
Till this day. You will hear me say “Everything equals 0”. The small math tricks my uncle shared with me helped me through elementary, middle school, but even high school.
I never met my other uncle who died shortly after I was born. But, I got to know him through the stories my uncle shared with me.
My uncle meant a lot to me. He helped me understand things directly but mostly indirectly.
He had his dark moments that I only wished I would have been able to talk to him about now that I am older. He had his regrets that I only wish he was able to make peace with those involve if not with just him self.
But, a few years back I was able to talk to him again. Shared some new and updated stories and talked to him about my own journey, my own struggles, my own regrets, and my own dark moments.
To see me is to see my uncle.
Some people have said that about me. I am still trying to really understand those statements. I may never quite understand that and maybe it is not for me to understand.
My uncle meant a lot to me and I was fortunate to have the few memories with him. Both, the good ones and the bad ones. My uncle indirectly help me find my way out of my own dark moments and fight through my inner daemons.
I give thanks to have had my uncle in my life even for those brief moments.
But, I give more thanks to have my aunt and my two cousins part of my life now to make new memories with.
We will all deal with the loss in our own ways. Some will share tears, others will fight on, and some will just buried it deep. I will do my best to not run away from it much longer.
Not everyone deals with the loss the same way. But, I do hope we are all able to share memories together as loving family and not push blame and anger towards others.
In my memories. My uncle resembled the character of Don Barriga that we all grew up with.
I will physically miss my uncle. But, his memory will live on through the stories we share.