Horace of Finchey was a popular street entertainer and street artist who recently died. He was a man that lived his life the way he wanted to for years. He was kind, cheerful and wished everyone the best of luck. I once heard him in Camden Sainburys supermarket yelling 'the best of luck' to everyone.
When a family member use a funeral to settle the score.
An uncle of mine, Uncle T who easily could have been Horace died not long ago, too.
Each of us have our truth and behind scenes of the tributes, mourning and celebration of my Uncle T's life a family drama of power, anger and control slowly erupted and exploded at the his grave side.
Everyone will have an opinion. I too have decided to put my business and that of my family in the street. It's like a reality show. My uncle would probably be confused and find it funny that he's causing so much fuss in death. He probably would just shake his head and walk away and get on with his business.
But, Uncle T, ya know we all deep down ratchetness, we be carrying our business to the street and wearing our heart on our sleeves. You know it aint no family gathering without some words exchanged or something happening. It's La Fam.
My grandfather who looked after my uncle died about twenty years ago. The reason - my late grandmother gave birth to my uncle in her forties and as women know sometimes this can lead to complications. So my uncle needed a guardian because he was young.
Anyway when my grandfather died it was decided for various reasons that an aunt would look out for him. He lived on his own so this was about making sure he was okay. It wasn't an easy task - challenging and sometimes unrewarding. Instead of saying she couldn't cope she let her resentment fester. It's a control thing. She is the kind of person that is always right and it had to be her way. It's hard to explain but some people like to take ownership of something. Strangers think she is fantastic and a wonderful person but ya'll most people have those saints in their family. They will move mountains for outsiders but ...
Anyway he was in and out of hospital - which we found out later - via her eulogy (it was something ya'll - a bit uncomfortable at times - and no she didn't read it - so got someone else to do it - same old excuse - grief) and she never informed the family. Anyway one day he has a bad turn and is touch and go for four hours. He decides to go. My aunt obviously knowing the seriousness of his condition and he was dying did not inform the family. Time out - if you're black basically - African, African American or West Indian. If you are black you know that some of us do vigilance or at the very least allowing us to say good bye to a dying person is very important. You probably thinking maybe she was right to shut out family who she alleged didn't care - but you don't know the full story and I'm not going to go into it. Let her be a saint. Let her be the Christian she claims to be.
So he passes. He decides to go. Three days later she informs me to tell my mother and give me the time of the funeral and not to wear black. Okay. She also tells me a few other things and I aint in the mood to listen her rachetness so I put the phone down on her and make my way to my mother.
I ring my mother who apparently had already found out from her brother. One of my cousins had found out via social media he died so informed him. Okay - I'm like she is mourning and grieving but people she is also taking pops. Some may think she was justified - who know? I find out later she only informed me for damage control - because she knew others had found out via social media.
Later on I find out the social media knew on the day he died, pure strangers. People that passed him in the street knew before kin. Okay. But it gets worse.
She hoarded veiwing of his body instructing the funeral home no one (family) was allowed a private viewing at the funeral home. It's going to be an open coffin/casket funeral so everyone could see him at the same time. We find out she can do what she wants. Fine.
We all are human and sometimes when we feel wrong we think about our hour of vindication. We think when we will have the upper hand but when the time comes most of us let it go. Most I say but not all.
This was no longer about my uncle but her hour of glory. I hoped she enjoyed basking in it. She is the kind that goes telling everyone how much she was doing. As I said there is backstory to all of this. She has her own truth and so does everyone else. We learnt lessons from this but this heifer carried it way beyond.
It was a nice and befitting turn out for a man loved by all. All his friends, associates and people that loved him turned out. It was beautiful. They'd all come to see pay their respects and see him off. Wonderful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Praise be to the Creator for all this. It was also a fine day with good weather.
Sat at the back with my mother then we went to grave side. After that we went. Other family members went up to her - now you know that kind of person - wrong or right is waiting for it. Lawd have mercy I heard she went off one saying 'You never cared about him.' For Real! You are kidding me right? They probably shouldn't have gone up to her given the sentiment already. I know, I know, I know - she was grieving and in mourning. Right, I get it - I even said it but stop. Unless you are the receiving side of that I think we will never get it. I don't get it. I don't understand it. But I get the 'do what you will' because of grief and mourn. Still it's not a license to malice especially if you knew the whole story. Everyone has a version; everyone thinks theirs is the only true one.
All I think was they gave her a platform for her to do her drama queen theatricals. She was probably waiting and hoping they came up to her. And they did. At grave side. Shake my head. She did it to an audience so saying it makes no difference.
It's sad that she went that far. It was hurtful and vindictive what she said. She was grieving, she was mourning. people behave differently when they grieve and mourn - I know that. It's a common excuse.
Anger is colourless. Spite is colourless. Meanness has is colourless too. It could be said people mourn in different ways - okay. Just make sure they don't target you.
Outside she is a saint to all inside she denied my close family the choice to mourning their brother in private. She has spoken words even if true to her can't be taken back. She has taken actions that make others shake their heads. She has coloured the sunlight with her darkness. So not only do they contend with the passing of their youngest brother they have to reconcile the fact that she behaved in this way.
Her honour of glory has past. The pain may remain but it will fade and only be remembered in memories. It's over. And as she plays the event over in her mind will it bring her satisfaction. Maybe but who really wants that sort of satisfaction? Bitterness is colourless - you can only see it in actions, words and intent.
As I said everyone has their opinion and their truth. It's easy to judge and pass comment if it weren't your family. It's unfortunate. Oh well, it's done.
So like Horace of Finchley, I had an uncle that once lived. Now gone. And funny thing as I said above is that Uncle T wouldn't have really cared. He'd have just looked up, scratched his head and the probably laughed and been confused at all this fuss.
Funerals are for the living least we forget because the dead are already gone.
Thank you for reading this and using Horace of Finchley's words I wish you all- The Best Of Luck!