Death

5

Where do I even begin? Creatively, things just haven’t been blossoming for me. I don’t have time to take crazy photos, make song covers, or even write anymore. I hate it, because those are the activities that make me the happiest.

I suppose I should go into details. Three people (two family members and one close neighbor) died recently and it’s just drained everything from me. I physically cannot go to another funeral. Just yesterday, my uncle’s body was found in a creek behind an abandoned factory. He had been missing since January in the worst winter I’ve ever experienced in Michigan. My family knew he was dead, but we couldn’t be absolutely sure until his body was found. My mom had to go with my aunts to identify his body at the morgue. I feel so bad for her. I know I’m dark and have a fascination with morbid stuff, but this is repulsing and completely horrid.

My uncle had a rough life. But, it was his own doing. As a child, he began huffing gasoline, paint thinner, and anything else that would give him a high. Why anyone would do such a thing is beyond me. My mom has told me stories about my uncle huffing paint thinner-soaked rags in a crawl space underneath her childhood home and the horrendous smell of it when her family dragged him out. His wild eyes were burned into my mom’s memory forever. From huffing gas, my uncle went on to become a criminal, the worst alcoholic I’ve ever seen, and in general a terrorist to his own family. My grandparents took him to psychiatric hospitals and specialists from all over to try and get help for him, but nothing worked. He ended up in jail more times than anyone could count and was homeless as well. I don’t think he ever held a real job and made money in a unique way. He would ride his bike everyday to gas stations all throughout the community to collect soda bottles in dumpsters that he could return for cash to buy booze. He was a legitimate dumpster diver.

I’m sure I sound heartless and apathetic relating my uncle’s life story, but that’s because I never had a relationship with him. He rarely came to family functions. When he did, he was wasted and acting like a fool. I was really afraid of him. I’m tearing up now because I realize that I did love him. Everyone in the family had cut themselves off completely from feeling any emotion towards him for so long. I think we couldn’t allow ourselves to get hurt anymore. Now that he’s gone, we can finally be vulnerable again.

I can only remember one positive memory with my uncle. I was a kid and he showed up at our Christmas gathering with gifts for his nieces and nephews, which shocked us all.  They were super cheap gifts from a drugstore, but I know he was proud that he was able to buy them. I recall having a long conversation with him which was rambling and confusing. I’m sure it was due to the brain damage he undoubtedly suffered from huffing. However, through the conversation I could tell that he was proud of me. He encouraged me to stay in school and praised my good grades. I don’t think I ever spoke to him again after that. That conversation has always stayed with me, though.

In more recent times, there is only sadness surrounding thoughts of my uncle. My grandma (his mom) died a few years ago and he attempted to get clean for her funeral. A lot of people don’t know that alcohol is the one drug that you cannot quit cold turkey. You have to medically detox from it because the withdrawal is so dangerous. In the past, when my uncle got hit by cars while drunkenly riding his bike (the man was hit by more cars than I can count) and ended up in the hospital, the nurses would give him a can of beer. This was so he wouldn’t have a massive seizure due to the shock on his body from not drinking alcohol for an extended period of time. Alcoholics must be slowly weaned off of the drug. So, my uncle just stopped drinking completely a couple of days before the funeral and had a massive seizure, landing him unconscious. He was in intensive care in the hospital during my grandma’s funeral. He tried to do the right thing, which I give him credit for. It really was unfortunate that he couldn’t make it to his own mother’s funeral.

There are a lot of mysteries surrounding my uncle’s death. He left his house (where he lived with his evil girlfriend) in the middle of a huge snowstorm to get liquor, I believe. He was very disoriented and not in good health, having just been released from the hospital after he was found unconscious on the rat-infested basement floor of his house. His girlfriend and her family were supposed to be caring for him and obviously neglected him for days. He was barely alive when they found him, but my uncle could survive anything. My family knows that my uncle’s girlfriend was stealing his Social Security checks and that’s the only reason she wanted him to live with her. Her home was not a healthy environment for him, but I guess it was better than the streets.

Back to the day of my uncle’s death…his girlfriend got a call from my uncle some time after he left out into the snow that day. He was frantic and incoherent. He was talking about the water…the water…and a yellow building in the distance. It’s so eerie to imagine him dying. His girlfriend told him to call 911 for help, so he attempted, but he was still confused and they couldn’t figure out where he was located. His cell phone was pinging off various towers around the area. A half-assed search ensued as my uncle lived in a high crime city with a lazy police force. They didn’t care about finding him and it sickens me. It turns out that the water was a creek/river two feet deep behind a yellow abandoned steel factory five blocks long with a YELLOW fence encompassing it. And this location was only a few blocks from my uncle’s house. Seriously. His body was found by a fisherman and was badly decomposed as he had been exposed to the elements for months. We don’t know if he froze or drowned to death…or something more sinister. An autopsy is being conducted. So much is wrong with this whole situation. What an injustice!

My uncle’s girlfriend and her family supposedly looked for my uncle every day he was missing. They allegedly hung up photos of him around town and searched everywhere. But, didn’t think to look around the huge yellow factory right in their neighborhood. I detect major foul play, as the girlfriend continued to collect my uncle’s government checks long after he went missing. All of this sounds like a movie, I know. I’m exhausted just writing it all down.

We have to plan a funeral for my uncle and I can’t even think about it. I’m just hoping for better days ahead. I also wanted to mention that I had another uncle die recently from cancer, which was very sad. Attending his memorial held during a Greek Orthodox church service was quite an experience. And my sweet next door neighbor, who lived next to me my whole life, passed away from cancer earlier this month as well. She was always complaining, but had a huge heart and I miss her dearly. I spent a lot of time during the summers with her and her partner growing up. My house just isn’t the same anymore.

So, that’s what’s been happening in my life. I don’t want to bring anyone down with this post. I just have to get all of it out of my system to move on and get closure. This is my therapy. Summer will be here soon and that always makes me happy. I’m discussing moving out of my parent’s house and looking at places of my own, which is exciting. I also got contacts! So, I can actually play with makeup more because I’ll be able to see what I’m doing without wearing my glasses and not poke myself in the eye with an eyeliner pencil. I’m going to get back to recording songs and filming videos ;). Life will get better because it can’t get worse.

 Lots of love,

~Asylum