The Truth is Out There
Probably all families know difficulty and even tragedy, at some point along the way. I write this at a difficult time for my family. Indeed, I am sitting here and reflecting on that difficulty, today. Alongside this, I have been watching the brand new tv series of the X-Files; hence the use of this title. I would say that there is something comforting about seeing a much loved tv series from my younger adult life, return for an unexpected update and continuation. The tv show is bringing back many fond memories of bygone days and dear friends.
We so easily develop feelings for the characters we watch so avidly on tv. Then, they are gone. When the opportunity returns for a new series many years later, it offers a reconnection to old forgotten thoughts and feelings, distant times, memories and a peculiar comfort from seeing ‘what happened’ to the characters we followed so intently all those years ago. How did their imagined lives progress? It’s less about whether the new series is even any good, but more about reconnecting with something so familiar from the past.
Today, my family awaits the outcome of an inquest into the death of a very dear uncle. I won’t describe the circumstances of his death on here, for that would be inappropriate, given that the cause of death has not yet been determined. Unlike the characters in the X-Files, my uncle will not suddenly be returning to our lives. I cannot help but notice the certainty of his absence, and the permanency of it, in stark contrast to the returning characters of an old favourite tv show.
My uncle was my mum’s eldest brother and a lovely man; though deeply thinking and complex. He was involved in the design of oil rigs for much of his life. As a young man he left home, at the earliest opportunity, to go off on adventures around the world. He had joined the Merchant Navy. His departure from home caused a significant wrench for his siblings at that time; my mum being one of them. He had truly been the eldest brother, with all of the responsibility that came with.
My uncle inspired me greatly, throughout my life. He and I maintained contact throughout. He reinforced the strong sense of self-belief that my parents had taught me. He inspired me to study and to travel the world, as he had done himself, and he was always the voice of wisdom. That was something I called upon a number of times, throughout my life. He always knew the right thing to say; a skill that my dear mum also has. I only hope that he knew how much I loved him and valued him being in my life.
My lovely uncle reminded me of Professor Yaffle, from the children’s tv show ‘Bagpuss’; for he too peered over his spectacles in a certain way. I find myself doing that very same thing, these days.
My uncle passed away last year and this was an immense shock to my family. The impact of his loss has been so incredibly significant to my family but, as often happens in times of sadness and difficulty, the family has found itself pulling closer together and reforming.
The inquest is taking place in Cornwall, where my uncle and a number of other family members live. Today, Cornwall seems like a terribly long way away, as if across the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. It is certainly the opposite end of this craggy and beloved island, as I sit here on this east coast of beautiful England.
So, ‘The Truth is Out There’ relates to the fact that, today, a full and final explanation as to the cause of my dear uncle’s death will become formalised. I am hoping that this will offer my family the opportunity to complete the grieving process. It has taken almost a year to reach this point. A very difficult year for us all. I am mindful of the terrible burden and pain that the loss of my uncle has brought upon his daughter and his son; my cousins.
Experiences like this are tough, in ways that one never expects. For me, going through life’s difficulties is an ongoing education. That is surely the only way to look at all that we have to endure. I have lost many loved family members in my life, but this is the first time that there has been uncertainty about the cause of death; resulting in an inquest. I have learnt that uncertainty is not a feeling that I enjoy.
I expect that Mulder would suspect a conspiracy, while Scully would be in the corner of natural causes. There is an exercise, that is creative, that will help with understanding the impact of difficult situations and events upon yourself. You will see that I have depicted my Uncle as Professor Yaffle. The next question would be what or who would I pick to represent who I am, in relation to all of the things I have stated, here? This simple exercise is about self-awareness.
(C) Dean G. Parsons. 2016.