Chapter 1: Death

It was the morning of December 24th when I got a call from Mommy.

Your Uncle is gone

I was surprised. From what I indirectly heard, he has been steadily recovering post-ops in the ICU. And based on the Facebook posts from various aunts and uncles, he’s been responsive.

I should have been shocked… but all I felt was emptiness. A kind of resolute nothingness that is neither good nor bad.

After all, how do I wrap up years of semi-hatred into an acceptable state of mourning?

For a fraction of a second, I felt guilty that I haven’t properly interacted with that Uncle for several years. So much feeling of indifference has been built between us that I even decided not to invite him and his family to my wedding.

Any positive memory that I had with him has been buried deep within by a series of bad memories, all of them done in his state of inebriation.

They say words can hurt you more than any physical force. Especially if you’re young and don’t fully understand why you have been at the receiving end of such hurtful notes.

It’s true.

Every time I see him when he was alive, all I can think about are those instances when he would be spewing bad words at my brother, my Lola Nanay (Mommy’s mother), me, and even my Daddy (his brother) who has done nothing but save him from his multiple life troubles.

We were supposed to go to the hospital this morning. He requested for us to be there because he will say sorry and ask for forgiveness…

Really?, is all I can say to my Mommy.

Funeral’s on the 29th. Are you going home?

Of course. I’ll look for the next available trip…

The thing about family is you can never truly cut yourself off from them. There are certain things that you need to do for them because you are bonded by blood. Sometimes, family solidarity is more important than any personal principle.

Attending a funeral is one of them.

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