My father is one of seven children.
I have 2 aunts and 4 uncles on his side.
I have met 2 aunts and 3 uncles.
1 is dead.
JR is the one no one talks about.
No, that’s not entirely true.
JR is the one no one talks about, unless they slip and mention him in
“JR used to…” “JR always”
“JR would have liked you.”
My uncle died sometime between his 17th and 21st birthdays.
From what I can tell, at least, that’s when he died.
No one talks about him.
And I have a missing uncle.
I have a hole that no one is willing to fill.
I asked my mom once how he died, who he was, what had happened.
She told me she didn’t know.
No one talks about it.
My youngest uncle is starting a theater program.
He’s dedicating it to my uncle, his brother.
He sent an email to the family, explaining what the program would be.
He told about how it would be aimed at helping people; at helping people
with problems like addiction, depression, loss. Helping people through
Drama Therapy to express their problems and work through them.
It would be a program of heART.
He told about how he felt that his brother, who loved theater, would
have benefited from a program like this.
No one responded.
I never know what to say in situations where JR is brought up. I think
in part because I don’t know him, in any sense. I don’t know him and can’t
speak towards what would make a fitting tribute, or what he would like.
It’s an eerie silence, when people avoiding a topic are forced to look at it.
He wrote another email, asking if people were angry about what he said.
His second email said “I don’t know exactly what happened with our
brother, whether it was an accident or on purpose.”
I don’t think he meant to send it to me.
I have 4 uncles. I’ve met 3.
We don’t talk about the 4th one, and I don’t know why.
After writing this I once again asked my mom to tell me what happened. I know now, though it is not something I will be sharing. I can understand a lot better, now, why no one wants to talk about what happened, but I still don’t feel that should be the same as not talking about HIM. I still wish I knew him.