Uncle John was the most whimsical of men
He laughed a lot
He saw the funny side of so much
Nothing appeared to get him down
He was indeed a happy chappy.
But he had a dark side
A side he kept well hidden
For he harboured a pain
A grief that was unimaginable
For once when he was fifteen
His mates went out
As young boys do
To camp to drink, to explore
To do the things young boys love to do.
Camping in an old brown house
He played with the fire, flicked the ashes about,
And never noticed one smouldering ember
Lodged in the bed of his best mate Mike.
Before they could do anything Mike was alight
In the blink of an eye, the house was in flames
Mike and one other boy died that night.
Uncle John’s heartbreak was life long
Shunned by so many
Ostracised by the family
It took a year to get him out of his room.
Uncles John is a whimsical man
It’s a front he puts up
He is a jolly fellow
But like the happy circus clown
There is a depth to this man
Who is kind beyond words
Is the gentlest of men.
I have stayed with Uncle John
Many times growing up
Have listened to his tale
And I know not a night goes by
He doesn’t cry for his mate.
Written for: http://mindlovemiserysmenagerie.wordpress.com/2014/12/21/inadequately-defined-writing-prompt-86-december-21-2014/
Oh, this breaks my heart, Michael — wow. To carry this sort of pain with a person — you’d have to put up a great front, have to work every day to convince yourself that life was worth living. The situation you’ve described here is much different — but — in a way it reminds me a bit of Robin Williams. A great front in a wonderful sense of humor and constant motion — but it hid such a world of pain.
Beautifully written– this really moved me.
On another note, thank you for the card. I was very touched 🙂
You are most welcome Jen. Thanks so much for your very thoughtful comment.
I’d often wondered how people cope with something like this ….
This gave me goosebumps I was very moved and I agree with Jen to carry such pain around. Powerful stuff Michael
Thank you Yves, some prompts just take me to such places. Thanks for the lovely comment.
This is so sad, Michael. Survivors of any such tragedy is such a punishment…forgiving oneself is the hardest thing to do. A tragedy for those gone and those living.
Yes it must be so hard, but such things happen and life goes on….Thanks so much for dropping by…
Oh my, that was so, so sad (and incredibly well written).
Thank you Lyn, based around a true story.
Michael I had goosebumps, very well written. The pain and anguish that one would experience as a result of an ‘accident’.
Thank you Jenny sadly all this happens. Enjoy your Christmas day.
Thank you my dear friend and to you and all your family 🎅🎅🎅 xx
That’s a right humbug. One lesson so hard to learn. Playin’ with fire someones’ gonna git himself or another burned. It is a wonder that them older holiday trees that had real candles on ’em didn’t burn down a few more houses. Wishin’ a healin’ for Uncle John.
And a fine Holiday to you to. Forgiveness is a gift that no wrap can cover. ~Ina