8 years ago, my uncle died. His death itself was not hard on me. It’s more his memory that gets me emotional. Or should I say the lack thereof. This is typically a day of grieving for my family. He was relatively young when he passed so it hurt all the more as an untimely passing. Except for me. Sure, I cried when I heard. That day, though, I realized that ADHD was at the same time a blessing and a curse.
I retain very few memories of growing up. My memory, both short term and long term, is terrible. Because of this I feel distant and disconnected from the people whom I am literally distant from. So, when there is a death, there is no overwhelming grief associated. I didn’t have a strong emotional connection anymore, because I rarely talked with him. He wasn’t on social media and we lived in different states. I literally went years at a time without talking to him. So the grief associated with his passing was bearable, compared to what the rest of my family went through. In that, I feel blessed.
I literally have a handful of memories of my uncle. I know when I lived closer we did do things together, but I don’t remember much. The memories I do have were great. Driving around San Diego listening to NOFX, going to the beach, and riding up and down the alley by my grandparents’ house on his 3-wheeler… I have one memory of each of these things. But I know that there were more. I had a childhood full of experiences with all my aunts and uncles, my grandparents, and childhood friends, but I’ve mostly forgotten. I feel guilty and sad because of it. I join my family in sadness, and yet it’s not the same. I feel like mine is under-qualified, and I am undeserving of empathy.
While the rest of my family mourns the passing of a family member, and celebrate his memory, I mourn the passing of his memory; almost jealous because I can’t properly grieve.