My wife’s brother recently took his own life. This has been, of course, a horribly wretched experience for the family. That’s why I took liberties to prevent them from further heartache by decisions I made in the story I’m about to tell.
Only Memories, Faded Memories
As neither my wife nor her parents felt they could be subject to the pain of sifting through their relative’s personal belongings, and as he had no spouse or significant other, and only a few very distant friends (more like acquaintances), I offered to pack his apartment. This was a necessary task since the crooked landlord — showing no sympathy whatsoever — had threatened to destroy the contents of the apartment if the next month’s rent was not immediately paid.
Among the various and sundry items one would expect from a home (furniture, kitchen/bathroom stuffs, photos, etc.) I had the misfortune of learning that the deceased seemed to have harbored a deep interest in non-traditional sexual situations, including bestiality, bondage, and masochism. This was evidenced not only through DVDs and magazines strewn about the apartment, but also in three life-sized rubber dolls I discovered tucked in the back of a closet. These dolls displayed evidence of having been subject to biting, stabbing, belt whippings, and various other unpleasantness.
Skeletons in the Closet
My intent in recounting the episode is certainly not to offend, and most definitely not to speak ill of the dead. Instead, the incident got me thinking about ‘what goes on behind closed doors.’
Here was a bright young man, full of potential, whose light was extinguished far too early. His dreams, hopes, aspirations now dashed, and his family left with the memories of a truly wonderful individual.
To me, he was a kind-hearted man, always ready with a smile and joke. He was a fine brother-in-law, and loving uncle to our children. I am glad to have known him. You can see, then, why I chose not to disclose the secrets I uncovered that day.
We all have skeletons in our closets. None of us on earth today is fully free from sin. Life is not perfect, and neither are we. But how many of us consider the reality that one day our secrets may be brought to light, and we may not be available to defend ourselves? These private memories and actions have the potential to forever change our station in the hearts and minds of our friends and families.
And since we often recall the most recent happening of any event, how awful would it be for the wonderful, happy memories we created and shared to be forever overshadowed by a few unsavory aspects of life we had hoped no one would ever discover?
I am certainly not here to get on a pulpit and preach, nor am I likely to make drastic changes in my life, or immediately destroy my own items that may someday be seen in a negative light. It is simply an idea worth pondering — a thought worth reviewing.
by [Staff Writer]*
Residential Life Magazine
*name suppressed to protect victim’s family