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My uncle lacked respect about my deceased father. Advice?

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Old 17th January 2018, 9:35 PM   #1
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My uncle lacked respect about my deceased father. Advice?

Hello everyone,

First of all, excuse me for any errors in english language because I'm french. As the title says, my uncle lacked respect about my attachment for my deceased father and it really hurt me. My father really was my hero and I love him with all my heart so it was devastative when he passed away 6 years ago because of cancer.

Fast forward to a few months ago. One of my uncles (with whom I'm not close and we barely know each other) came to my mother's house with his wife. I was here so we spoke for a few hours. When they were kids, my uncle was "friend" with my father. I put "friends" in quotes because they respectively had other friends, they only hung out occasionally and since I was born, I never saw them hang out together. My father almost never went to his home and he almost never came to our home. Maybe one or two times in 20 years. They also both lived in poverty when they were kids, and my father even more.

So we were tchatting and he began to talk about how poor my father was when they were kids. But it wasn't with compassion, it was almost disdain. At one point her wife even smirked when he was telling details about how poor my father was. Naturally, I felt a bit upset about this and when my mother joined the conversation I asked to change the subject and my uncle replied curtly "Yes, he lived in misery, that's the truth!"...I was flabbergasted.

First of all, it's not about truth or not, I know that my father was poor when he was a kid, it's about respecting people's feelings and respecting when the son of a deceased father asks to change the subject because it saddens him. And my uncle lived in poverty too as a kid, it's not as if he grew up in Beverly Hills. Shortly after that, I left the house without saying goodbye to them. Apparently it's not the first time he tries to belittle some people. His brother for instance (who is way nicer and respectful than him) told me that he went to his house once and he swore never to return because he told me that he belittled him all night. He told me that despite the fact hat he is his brother, he prefer to stay away from him because he's too arrogant and condescending. Anyway, I'm really hurt about his behavior because like I said, my father really was my hero and he was a gentle, kind person who never talked bad about anyone.

What do you guys think? Do you also think that it was cruel and disrespectful?

Thanks you for your opinions because his arrogant behavior really hurt me.
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Old 17th January 2018, 10:36 PM   #2
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Was this uncle your father's brother? If so, he would know about the state of the affairs as they existed when they were both children

I don't see this person being as disrespectful of your father as you do. If you look at this from a different perspective, the fact that your father overcame so much to achieve all the good things in his life, including your mom, you & the life he had, should raise your father's esteem.

My father's brother & my father were talking on a vacation. My dad was telling these wonderful tales about how glorious everything was. My uncle snorted & sad it was all garbage -- everybody was poor, there was nothing romantic about it. The uncle's version was probably closer to the truth but I so much prefer my father's magical version & those are the stories I chose to remember. I find the dynamics in your situation to be similar.

Just chalk this uncle's behavior up to him being cynical & cranky. Then let it go.

Yes, it would have been kinder to you had they listened when you asked to change the subject but I think you made your point by leaving.
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Old 18th January 2018, 12:55 AM   #3
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Its hard to imagine that this was cruel or disrespectful, but I'm wondering if something was lost in translation. I just can't see an adult being judgy of another adult's poverty during childhood. It's not like anyone expects a child to go out and earn a decent salary.
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Old 18th January 2018, 1:03 AM   #4
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When people are rude and nasty and say mean things it's a reflection on their own poor character, not the character of the person they show disrespect towards. Your uncle sounds like he's still living in a poverty.

I'm sorry for your loss of your father XO
'I love the poorly educatedí
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Old 18th January 2018, 11:05 AM   #5
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This man is not someone you are close to, this is not someone nice, he's condescending, arrogant, and belittles people, so why would his opinion have so much importance to you?

If someone very dear to me said something hurtful about someone I love I would be hurt because their opinion has always had value to me but in your case I would not waste any brain energy on him, his opinion should mean nothing to you, he's nothing to you so why give his opinion so much importance.
'' The Biggest Coward Is A Man Who Awakens A Woman's Love With No Intention Of Loving Her '' - Bob Marley
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Old 18th January 2018, 5:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ascofield View Post
What do you guys think? Do you also think that it was cruel and disrespectful?

It may have been insensitive to your feelings, but your own reaction is far more important than your uncle's actions.

It is possible that your uncle is still struggling or trying to come to terms with his own childhood experiences and memories. For example, maybe as a child he recognized the plight of your dad's family and felt helpless to offer comfort and assistance - and maybe even angry at other people or life-in-general for putting/keeping your dad (and also your uncle's own family) in such dire straits.

Maybe, current-day, your uncle wants to talk about it but doesn't know how or to whom. So, maybe he wasn't being cruel or disrespectful; maybe he was just trying to reach out to a member of your dad's family -- even though, of course, he didn't do it in a very constructive or compassionate way.

But. That doesn't mean that you can't have compassion for him, or try to connect with him in a more meaningful way about his and your memories of your dad.

My condolences on your dad's passing; sending comfort.
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Old 19th January 2018, 12:01 AM   #7
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Ascofield I am sorry for the loss of your father! I too lost my dad to cancer 10 years ago. He was a rock in my life! I adored him so much! I can imagine how upsetting it would be to have someone make derogatory remarks about my dad! I am sorry your uncle behaved so insensitive. It's obvious he has his own set of issues where he feels he must impress and look better than others. Your uncle sounds like he's toxic to you and the family. It's always good to keep distance from toxicity. I find if you do run across one another again keep it casual and if he says something inappropriate again can you call him on it? Or do you need to walk away again? You did a really good job with doing what was necessary to take care of yourself without reacting and falling into the trap of being pulled into negative behaviors. Good job!

Here's the hard part...forgiveness. Have you considered forgiving your uncle? Forgiveness isn't about approving or allowing his rude comments. Forgiving is releasing you from the pain and finding a way to let it go so you can be free from the heavy weight it continues to weigh on you. Forgiveness chooses to practice healthy boundaries and require earned trust but it also doesn't look to pay the other person back for the wrong they did. It releases them so you can be free from it. It doesn't necessarily forget; because, with some people you must protect yourself from the unhealthy things they are doing.

You sound like a really amazing person with a good head on your shoulder! I hope you can find peace in your heart as you hold onto the lovely memories you choose to remember your father with! I know it's hard not to let others effect us but when we find we are struggling with an interaction we have a choice...ruminate, let it eat at us, or choose we deserve a life full of peace, joy and positive interactions...let go of the toxic stuff. Praying you find all that good in your life, that you so very much deserve!
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