Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Reflecting on the Deaths in my Family

I'm panicking about the idea of losing any more weight. My stomach has only just started to calm down a bit. My GI-tract still can't handle a lot of foods but I've been able to indulge in a few nutrient-dense meals without my body forcing it to do an "early exit". However, I'm still using the Nexium twice a day and I'm still having the horrible stomach cramps at least a few days out of every week.

I've tried to focus on other things and not dwell on the stressful details in my life right now. I kept wanting to write about my uncle's suicide and my niece's death but I just felt like I'd be unable to handle all of the emotions if I let myself release it in any way. It's just overwhelming me now.

My uncle was a Vietnam War veteran. Once, him and a group of soldiers were hunkered down for the night in the jungles and when he woke up, all of the soldiers around him were dead. During the night, the "enemy" had crept up and slit the throats of all the other men. God only knows why they didn't get him too. Maybe they ran out of time. Who knows? My uncle was haunted by his experiences in Vietnam. He never got over them.

Besides my niece (my aunt's child), he had two sons from a prior marriage. These two are basically rotten individuals but one of them was worse than the other, by far. He served years in prison for shooting a man in the face. When he got out, he couldn't find anyone willing to hire an ex-con.

My uncle was rather "comfortable", as we'd say here. He and my aunt had just moved into the dream home that they'd had built. They had a nice income and they owned a few nice assets. My uncle wanted to help out so he co-signed on a loan for an eighteen-wheeler truck after his son promised to be responsible and pay the note on it once he got a job.

The son got the truck and became a driver for some company. He was making good money doing this. He didn't have a wife or any children to take care of so he could do the long-distance routes that pay rather well. For some reason, he decided that he just wasn't going to pay the note on the truck but he wasn't going to give it back to the bank either. Instead, he just stiffed his dad for the money. If that wasn't bad enough, he refused to speak to his father who was trying to find out why he was doing this.

The son would go right down his father's street to visit his aunt but not even stop by his dad's house and see him. My aunt kept telling my uncle that it's just money and it's not like they couldn't afford to just take care of the note. Still, my uncle took it really hard that his son would cheat him like this and pretty much brag about it to the rest of his family.

On the day before he committed suicide, when my aunt was at work and my cousin was at school, my uncle had a confrontation with his son on the front lawn. My aunt only found out about it later because a neighbor came forward who had heard and seen them arguing when she went outside. We don't know why my uncle didn't even tell my aunt about what had occurred that day. His son is the only one who knows exactly what was said between them.

We don't know when my uncle purchased the gun. We don't even know where he hid it before he used it. On Thursday, two days before his birthday, he waited until my aunt and cousin had left the house and he locked himself in the garage with the gun and a note he had written. He took the gun and shot himself in the face.

The thing is, he didn't die immediately. When my cousin got home from school, she could hear noises coming from out of the garage. She used to have a key to the garage but she'd misplaced it a while before this. She went in her room and searched for her missing key so that she could see what was going on in the garage. She found it. She opened the door.

There was my uncle, with half of his face gone and much of his brains were splattered all over the room. His body was groaning and trying to get up. My cousin called 911 and went and got the next door neighbor. The ambulance came and brought him to the hospital. My aunt was called by the police and told to go to the hospital where my uncle had been taken. One of their neighbors took my cousin over to their house to remove her from this horrible scene. My uncle died at the hospital.

My cousin is still in denial. She can't accept the fact that he killed himself. She says that it must have been an accident. The note my uncle left, the investigation, and autopsy showed that it was indeed a suicide. My aunt and cousin are seeing a psychiatrist. God only knows how this one event will screw with their sanity for the rest of their lives. I know it's changed our entire family forever.


Hahni said...

bint, it's not easy. My heart aches for you and for your family.

This has been some year, hasn't it? Hopefully we will see next year safe and sound, and the people we love will be with us.

Thinking of you, dear bint :)

Tigera Consciente said...

I am so sorry for the recent tragic events that have occurred. Thank you so much for being open and allowing us to side with you. I hope you and your family stay strong and keep love alive. I'm praying for you all.

belledame222 said...


Nullifidian said...

I really don't know what to say. Condolences are too little and too conventional for two sudden deaths in a such a short time. Nevertheless, I am very sorry for your loss.

antiprincess said...

oh, bint - I am so sorry for your loss.