The clock is ticking. My brother-in-law will be released from prison soon and I’m going to have to tell my son where he has been, and why we will never see him again.
Last year my husband’s brother disappeared. At first his absence wasn’t noticed. It’s not like we saw him every day. But when he didn’t appear at our regular family get-togethers my son began asking, then demanding to know where he was.
His wife was cagey and defensive of his whereabouts. It didn’t make any sense. We racked our brains for an explanation. Is he sick in hospital? Had she murdered him?
Where the hell is he?
It took me just a few minutes of searching on the internet to find him and our worst fears were realised. He was in prison for child sex crimes.
It would have been better if he were dead.
The crimes he was convicted for are unforgivable, even though some members of the family comforted themselves with the fact they were only online crimes, as far as we could tell. The worst part of the entire situation was his effortless duplicity.
We had no idea that lurking inside this charming, affable, loving uncle was a monster.
I have four children but it’s only my oldest who has been asking where his uncle is. He’s becoming more insistent, particularly when the family gets together for holiday celebrations and birthdays. So far we have managed to fob him off by saying that his uncle is away for work but that is starting to wear thin.
Not knowing what to do, I asked a friend who is a psychologist? She advised me to tell him the truth, not every little horrific detail, but a broad version of the truth.