January 9, 2005 9:15 PM Subscribe
BereavementFilter: Etiquettement dilemma about opening/agitating mourning versus sharing in a small life-afirming-recollection-of-the-deceased, er, something (the [+] might make more sense, sorry)
posted by PurplePorpoise to Human Relations (11 answers total)
My Uncle died about five years ago and my Aunt was pretty distraught. He was briefly mentioned when I last visited two and a half years ago, but it was in a nostalgic way about when he was pretty far gone from a neurological degeneracy. I have only met my Uncle once, when I was before the age of reason, maybe 7 yo. or so. He contacted me by mail when I was heading to the 'States for college telling me to consider fraternities, &c. They have had no children together, and he was not close to his ex-wife (& potential family).
I've been thoroughly enjoying Turdledove's (very excellent) American War series, and realized that my fondness of the era and my appreciation of militaria arose from my Uncle sending me card/posters of Sam Clemens' era watercraft, oversized book/posters of WWII aircraft, naval vessels, and armoured cavalry, paint&cut&fold&glue paper models from various conflicts, &c&c for birthdays and Christmases when I was little. Otherwise, I've never known my Uncle.
My dilemma is; I want to share my realization that my Uncle was a positive intellectual influence on my life and that I now belatedly wish that I had known him better alas, email mainstreamed a decade&1/2 too late, but I'm unsure if this is something that will bring my Aunt ... happiness (?) as opposed to ?? (something bad). I don't get the sense that she shares the fondness for 1850-1950 American militaria as my Uncle, or heck if my Uncle was a fan as opposed to "Oh, lets send my wife's kid nephew something manly...". I'm leaning towards that he was into it, and much more (masons, other-"secret"-societies, sailing, treasure-hunting are a few that I pieced together) - which is why I wished that I had/made-the-effort-to know(n) him better.
So, should I email my Aunt and share my thoughts that her husband had a positive influence on my life, or is the risk of twisting old wounds too great (she's kind of hurt, still really misses him)?