I was driving home listening to the across the universe soundtrack. Singing loudly in traffic. Keeping my spirits up.
Then ‘while my guitar gently weeps’ played. As I sang it, I felt a lump in my throat and tears roll down my eyes.
For some reason it made me think of my uncle. He died ten years ago on the 29 may. His funeral was on the 5 June.
He bought me my guitar. The last time I played it was in 2012 when the out of town guy came and taught me a song.
That used to be my dream. A guy who sings and plays guitar.
Who’d sing to me every night before I slept
On of my first experiences in a bar was with my uncle. We’d went to watch my cousin play sometime in the early 2000s when everything was great.
My first experience in a casino was also with him. He’d gone to gamble and left me to watch the first Bourne film. I was the only person in the movies. It was amazing.
He’d always buy me books on every trip.
He was my favourite. in matric, he was part of my life goals that got me through my depression. I wanted to get to know him. To go visit him alone and learn about where he lived and what he did. But he was a ten hour drive away and I had just got my license.
Then he died.
After he died I tried to remember all the advice he ever given me. I tried to find and cherish everything he’d given me. I tried to remember all the books he’d read and loved.
It was over. Done. There was no double checking. No moment to catch up. He’d died in his sleep from a heart attack. I woke up to the news.
I don’t think anyone in my family heard or saw me cry until the day of the funeral. When I mistakenly watched into the backroom of the cremation place and watched my dad and family (only men) prepare his cold lifeless body to be burned.
I ran to my mum and sobbed. One of the five times I’ve ever cried in public.
I have many memories of him. He bought me my Elvis cd which I only wanted cos my teacher had a crush on Elvis.
He once told me an outfit I’d just bought from Mr price didn’t suit me. It was white tights and I black gypsy type top. I wore it anyway.
He used to give me his change to count, just for fun.
He used to talk my siblings and cousins to the movies all the time.
He used to visit my family every December and always left before my birthday. One morning as he was leaving I pretended to sleep even though I heard him say goodbye. And after he left I went and cried on my mum’s lap because I felt so guilty.
He always bought my mum a Christmas cake.
He cared about family. He always said it was the most important thing. But somehow I feel like he passed away without his family ever knowing him.
Sometimes I feel I’m exactly like him. Far away. Alone. Not part of the family rat race.
Late 2012 I got depressed and didn’t go to work for three days. All I could think about was him and my best friend who passed away in Feb 2007. The only friend who’s been there for me when my uncle died the year before.
I wrote my ex a three page email about my pain. He read it. He read everything I’d ever written. As did my ex girlfriend and the out of town boy.
I believed them reading my stuff was them wanting to know everything about me. I believed they were trying to understand me. I think in retrospect they wanted to own me.
My boyfriend doesn’t read it. He gets offended by how I see things. And he’s right. He doesn’t need to know my every thought. He doesn’t need to know my goals and life plans and my past. These are things we should talk about. I probably won’t talk to him about it all. I not used to people listening to me when I talk. So I don’t talk. But maybe he’ll hear me anyway.