Carpe Diem

I've got a monster hangover. Last night, I got smashed after I got home from my uncles funeral. Didn't set out to do that, it just seemed to help. Anyway, the funeral...

My ex- made an appearance, after she told my mum that she wouldn't be going "because I want him to go and he might not if I turn up...". What might (at first view) appear to be a noble gesture is turned into something all about HER.

OF COURSE I was going to give my last respects. HOW DARE she think that "her turning up" would stop me from going. She has no control over what I do any more. The passive-aggressive thing has been exposed for what it is, and the co-dependent part of my personality is a continual work in progress.

The whole family went, the church was packed. I was asked to read the 23rd psalm, and I nearly broke down on the lecturn. My 12 year old cousin was distraught at the loss of his father, and the place was a weeping mass of mourning.

My daughter went too. Her 7 month baby-bump bulging, her boyfriend by her side. She wouldn't even look at me, let alone say anything. I think she has even forgotten what she was angry with me for; now she just has this aura of anger about her that she drags around like a cape thrown over her shoulders. There was no discernable attempt at reconciliation; she did not appear to recognise that one day, that coffin will be mine. And as time passes, it becomes easier and easier for me to look at her as 'just another person I have known'.

Before I went to the funeral, I made several promises to myself. Number one was that the day was about paying my respects to my uncle. Number two was that if (as it turned out) my ex- and my daughter went, that I would not approach them about ANYTHING not to do with the funeral. The day was about my aunt and my cousins; about my mum who had just lost her beloved little brother; about my sisters, and about ME.

So, to the wake. I was extremely uncomfortable, as well as being quite emotional. The discomfort was evident to one of my sisters, because she asked me how I was feeling, and why I was leaving so early. She said "Fuc% it, YOU stay here with your family, I'm going in there to tell THEM to leave...". But I stopped her and told her that the day was about paying respect to our uncle, and I wanted to remember the day for that rather than having memories of kicking out my ex- and my daughter.

When I got home, I realised that I was angry. I looked within myself, and realised that the anger was at my uncle. He died from complications of undiagnosed diabetes. He had been ill for several years, yet refused to go to the doctor because of an irrational phobia which, as it turned out, was what actually killed him. He would still be here today if he had simply gone and consulted a medic for thirty seconds, and pissed on a glucose *****.

I had something to eat; lasagne and a glass of wine. The wine went down well, so I had another glass...

ILIASM is a curious beast. It saved my sanity; was the place I found my true love. It gives people a place to vent, somewhere to come for understanding and for validation. And when you have been here a while, you come to the realisation that there are actually only two choices. You stay; make the best of your life and fight the good fight until, finally, the fight goes out of you. Or you leave and look for happiness elsewhere.

Reading through the stories and forum here, the anger at the loss of my uncle took another focus. Towards the waverers who bemoan their plight, yet who refuse to get off the fence and make a stand for what they believe in. Take time to decide, certainly. But make that choice, and have the belief in yourself to carry it through. Things will go pear-shaped, that I can guarantee you. But you will at least be in control of your destiny again.

My uncle was a maverick. He was born and raised in a very modest household, became a millionaire in the eighties, then lost it all. Two marriages, four children (one suffering from Downs syndrome) and a stepson. Yet he was always happy, and lived his life with this one predominant motto.

Seize the day.
Morph Morph
46-50, M
5 Responses Aug 11, 2010

Thank you all for your kind and considerate comments, they are greatly appreciated.<br />
<br />
What this story is truly about is my anger at MYSELF, reflected through the sad circumstances of my uncles passing. It demonstrates through metaphor how much of life might be forever lost if we let it slip away. It is the anger directed at the 'old' me, the one that accepted less than I was worth for such a long time.<br />
<br />
I continue to learn things about myself that surprise me. Where I once considered myself weak, I am strong. Strength I was proud of in myself turns out to be brittle places where fractures occur most readily. <br />
<br />
My anger crystallised around a few stories I read on ILIASM; not that people are taking time to consider their lives, but that they WON'T make an attempt to live well for themselves. Things drift along, entrenched in misery; all they do is hope, until even hope is gone. More than inertia, it is acceptance of their unhappiness. Their spirit is broken, and they are destined to be unhappy until time is with them no more.

You handled yourself with dignity and took the high road once again in choosing this time of grief as a tribute to your uncle, Morph. It was about you and his family and the sadness that this loss entails. Perhaps your daughter will think on her actions and lack of acknowledging you in time but this is in her hands. <br />
<br />
Funerals give us who are left closure and also a chance to think about what life means and how important it is to treat one another with kindness and empathy. Times of intense sadness will bring out the best and also the not so good in people. You did your mum and aunt and cousins and sisters a great service and love in refusing to turn this tribute to your uncle into something else and I am so proud of you but this is how you live your life so it is no surprise to me. <br />
<br />
That your sister recognized your discomfort and wanted to do something about this shows love and a close bond. There will be others that also saw this and will offer you support when the grief is behind them and you have friends that understand and sympathize. Keep those who love you close and let those who use a time of grieving to further their own agendas in the proper perspective.<br />
<br />
It takes great inner strength to quietly walk away and maintain one's dignity when one is hurt and mature people will see this as such. Your vocal tribute to your uncle is recognized and appreciated by many who share in your sadness. The actions of any person there who caused you even more pain rests on their shoulders and is disrespectful to your uncles grieving family who love you too. Take comfort in knowing that you did the right thing and let the shame of hurtful actions rest on where it belongs. <br />
<br />
My thanks to all of you who took the time to offer Morph condolences and validation for his actions. Your sympathy and thoughts were gracious and I know that they mean a lot to him. Some of the best people that Morph and I have ever known are here on this site and our lives are enriched in knowing you. The best thank you that we can give is to live our lives with joy and happiness. D.

Morph: I am sorry for the loss of your dear uncle and for the loss of your daughter. Perhaps once she is a parent and a wife, she will understand more. We all learn that we have no control over other people's thoughts, feelings, or actions.<br />
<br />
As for siezing the moment; my mom is very much like your uncle. She won't see a doctor even for a simple physical, so I know that one day I will lose her for something really stupid. That is why every time she needs me, or requests a small amount of my time, I happily give it to her. It used to **** my STBX off that I spent "so much time" with my mother, but tough. She's the only one I have and once she's gone, that's it.<br />
<br />
Morph, You are on embarking on some of the best years of your life. LIVE!

Never underestimate the theraputive qualities of a skinful of grog.from time to time.<br />
<br />
I've been thinking about some of my recent thoughts about 'refusers' adopting a posture of inertia, while the 'refused' struggle on against herculean odds. Yet, I know at times I was inert as well, not working on the marriage and not working on getting out either. Just 'waiting' for something. Maybe a cosmic event, a sign, a light, could be anything. Could be the funeral of a loved uncle.<br />
<br />
You conducted yourself as a man ought at this funeral, and aftermath.<br />
<br />
And, your advice to get off the fence and have a red hot go is timely and (IMHO) correct.<br />
<br />
Thank you for sharing this. Your Uncle would be proud of you this day - and days yet to come.

Morph, <br />
<br />
My condolences for your loss. Often seems that life events - birth, marriage, and death are loaded with opportunities and sensitivities ... and involve family pains and dramas, which are often times magnified. Kudos to you to keeping your eye on the purpose!! <br />
<br />
I get the metaphor of diabetes causing death and how that relates to spiritual death of a sexless marriage. Thing is .. if your uncle went to the doctor and had the glucose test (if he knew the diagnosis), he would not necessarily have changed his behavior. Many of us know the pain and sometimes the futility of the sexless marriage, but there are other things we feel/know/fear as well. <br />
<br />
I like Bazzar's motto of 'tread your own path' (hope I got that right)... it is that we each need to be true to ourselves and to be kind enough to do so in our own time. <br />
<br />
That said .. I'm so with you "Cape diem" .. we have just one life to live. Sending my best wishes and condolences. Death does have a way of waking up those of us left behind. <br />
<br />
Sending you warm wishes...