Monday, December 14, 2009


Context: A couple of years ago, I discovered that my Dad's missing brother had died more than twenty years earlier. My Dad didn't know this. I chose not to tell him. With that, I always end up daydreaming about the sharing that has not been, whenever I'm due to see my parents.

I discussed all of this, with Franglaise, at the weekend. He was a good one to be discussing this with - reluctant as he was to jump to any quick assertion about what would be best or inevitable. In the course of talking, I mentioned that my initial inclination - to tell - was opposed to that of my brother and sister. Wondering if that was still the case, I spoke to my brother. From which:

Shane: ...think about it, though - if you went missing - even if we hadn't been getting on or whatever, I'd still want to know if you had... y' know, died.

Brother: That would be different. You wouldn't need to be told.

Shane: But if we'd lost contact, how would I know?

Brother: Cos I'm considerate. Just to let you know I was alright - even if I thought you were a total dick, I'd post y' some dog shit every Christmas - just t' let y' know I was thinkin' of y'. So when the dog shit doesn't arrive, that's when you have to mourn 's, like.

Shane: (impressed) That's very creative.

Brother: Cheers.


Queenie said...

That made me laugh out loud.

There is a theory that secrets in families are always toxic. I don't agree; I think sometimes there are good reasons. Nevertheless, keeping a secret can be tough.

hilaryusfun said...

That was a somehow familiar conversation, though different in our case. But good to know where you stand!

Pat said...

I suppose sometimes it's better to just let things lie.