Soledad en masa

Mira Macario, esta es la humanidad, part I

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The title of this post comes from a scene from the film Macario. In the above clip, it starts at 2:21.

I’ve thought a lot about death in the past few weeks. I know this isn’t the kind of thing that I should publish or mention so publicly, but I’m not about to practice so much self-censorship.

I’ve never dealt with death directly in my life. No one in my immediate family has died in my lifetime. My paternal grandmother, maternal grandfather, & a maternal uncle died before I was born. I wish I had met them, if only to know how they were and how we would have interacted. My maternal grandfather, Jesús, died a few months after my month’s birth and my maternal uncle, Benjamín, died in the mid-1970s in San Leandro. My paternal grandmother died in 1986, a few months after my parents immigrated to the United States.

The only death in the close family in my lifetime was that of one of my paternal uncles, who died in March. I was not able to attend his funeral, as I was at Harvard and didn’t have the money to travel to San Francisco & back for a half-week. I was in the Bay Area last weekend, but we didn’t visit his grave. I wish we had because I was unable to be there for his burial. The last time I saw him was on New Year’s Day, when my dad & I visited the Bay Area and stayed with him for a number of hours. His health had deteriorated in the last decade, more so after a car accident in L.A. put him in a coma for a few days.

After we returned to L.A. and I was back at Harvard, it was hard for me to get my uncle’s health out of my head. Each day, it was more and more obvious that his candle neared extinguishment. My dad began to go to the Bay Area more often. In February, I think he was in the Bay Area every other weekend. My dad would leave Los Angeles Friday night by Greyhound, be picked up by one of uncles, go to the hospital to see my uncle, and be on a Greyhound bus back to L.A. Saturday night.

Part II tomorrow.

Written by soledadenmasa

July 27, 2009 at 3:00 am

Posted in Family, Personal

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