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Fuck Politeness

This is a revolution, not a public relations movement

My uncle died. His name was not Ec in fact, it was Lester, but for some reason in a family that rarely uses ‘Aunt’, ‘Uncle’ etc, he was never Lester, or Uncle Lester, or Lec, but always Uncle Lec. Which led to some hilarity when a friend who had spent many Boxing Days with my extended family – including Uncle Lec – asked me how my Uncle Ec was.

Anyway…Uncle Lec died. And I feel a little sad. He was a nice guy. Very private, and kinda funny when you least expected it. Stubborn as…a stubborn person, he refused to move in with anyone, move out of his apartment, accept full time home care or appoint a Power of Attorney – not cos he didn’t trust them, more he just didn’t wanna. Consequently he had many falls we didn’t know about, including the last where he spent ten hours laying on the floor before someone found him. That makes me a little sad.

I only know snippets about him. He and most of the men in his family worked in the mines and by later life he’d developed something along the lines of mesothelioma (I don’t know how to spell that and spellcheck has very helpfully offered me Mesopotamia in its place, which I can state with certainty he did not have). He was a chain smoker in early life, but gave up a long time ago.

He was painfully shy, though he seemed to be just *extremely quiet* rather than painfully shy by later life. Apparently when he was in his twenties, he met a cousin of his for the first time, also shy, and they sat next to one another for hours while everyone else mingled without saying a word just feeling awkward.

He didn’t have a partner, and so far as was public, didn’t have a relationship. He loved to watch cricket, do puzzles and play golf, (basically things that were relatively quiet and took a long time were A-ok with him) and just when you thought he had finally made a total vow of silence he’d slide in a surprisingly sharp joke.

He’d deliver any sentences he thought worth uttering in this slow, amused elongated drawling voice and there was a real light in his eyes when he was making a joke. He laughed like this: eh heh heh heh.

He made three dimensional puzzles from wood because he looked at them for a while and figured it out (for some reason I really like that fact about him). He seemed able to mix with my incredibly loud and at times obnoxious family happily but also to have a bit of a  chuckle at them when things got too much.

Anyway. I liked him. I’m glad for him he’s not sick any more. I’m sad for me I won’t have him around at Christmases even when he was vaguely daunting in his silence and the difficulty in reading what he wanted at any given time. He seemed to get more tired and cranky in the last year (and fair enough). I guess I hope that he wasn’t afraid when he fell and he was alone. He was pretty sharp and if he said he didn’t want to move in with someone or have someone move in then I think the falls were either not enough incentive to change his mind, or he was perhaps less than lucid through some of that. Perhaps it’s overly optimistic to hope that this meant he wasn’t frightened or miserable.

Anyway. He died. I’m sad. I’m not doing to well on letting myself grieve him I guess cos I’m tired and busy, and can’t take the time or headspace to just think about it and be sad for a while so I keep on getting kinda unfairly stroppy with things, impatient and irritable. I think Friday’s funeral will be enough space to grieve since I do know he was old, and I did know this was coming some time soonish and I’m glad he’s not sick or in pain, and glad he was able to decide for himself how he wanted to live up to the end.

That’s it really. No comments necessary, not a poor me, more a bit of a ramble for Uncle Ec.


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