Every family has one: an uncle with a rock & roll lifestyle. They’re always your mom’s or dad’s youngest brother, men who can’t find their place in life and thus have all sorts of odd jobs and odd friends.
And the rock & roll uncles always die (too) young. Sooner or later, their lifestyle catches up to them.
ingiechan‘s died more than a year ago. Mine, named Hans, died before I was born (my second name comes from his name, and I have a younger cousin who is named after him as well) — he died in a car accident two years before I was born. I am a fair bit older now than he was when he died too.
My parents told me some stories about him — how he had loads of women after him, and that he even came to visit my parents to elude all the female attention. Of how he loved fast cars…
He is buried in Mook, where his parents used to live, which is really close to Nijmegen. My mom had visited the graves of my grandparents and Hans some time ago, and they were pretty neglected. She asked me to help her with Hans’ grave, because it had been completely overgrown by ivy that had gone completely out of hand.
It was quite hard work to get rid of the mass of roots at the foot of the grave. As I got deeper and deeper, I wondered what I was going to find… But it didn’t come to that — most of the roots have been dug up and now that space is occupied by more well-behaved plants.
It was a bit… surreal. I was digging at the grave of my uncle I never knew, from whom I got my second name. And my grandfather was buried three rows further — that is from whom I got my first name. If this were the middle ages, it would serve well as a memento mori.