What topic do you absolutely avoid at family gatherings? – Observer from Jamaica

FAMILY get-togethers are the most fun – there’s always that drunken uncle who’s inappropriate, the grandma who can’t hold her tongue especially after sipping rum, and the family members who are just there for the fun of it. show ; they didn’t want to come, but felt they had to, because it was planned. These encounters usually take place at Christmas, weddings, or funerals, and while for many they start off with just a few hiccups, others are the source of a lot of fun or big winces, depending on what’s revealed.

Because no family is absolutely honest, decent or “normal”; the term “skeletons in the closet” was coined for a reason, and for many people, these skeletons took root through family experiences. What discussion do you absolutely avoid having at your family gatherings?

Amerie, writer, 40 years old:

We’re not talking about how my cousin’s ex molested his daughter, and how his whole family, and my cousin, found out and protected him from prosecution. It happened more than 20 years ago, and they just sent the child to live with other family members, while pretending that nothing had happened. They are now divorced and the child died in an accident abroad. He’s out of our lives, but knowing he got away with it still haunts me, and one day I’ll write our story in a book.

Shan, teaching assistant, 24 years old:

My sister-in-law’s child is not my brother’s and we all know that, but I don’t think that’s the case or that he doesn’t care. The child looks like his biological father, so family photos are always interesting. We all have a certain look so we can’t hide because we all have a certain characteristic which is the family line. It does not matter because the child is very nice, so we accept it and do not talk about it.

Princess, farmer, 48 years old:

My brother was killed while committing a crime with a bunch of other criminals and we know he was a bad seed but he died leaving three sons so the family story is he was robbed and killed. We don’t want kids to think their dad was a bad man, so we just say he was robbed and killed. We never speak badly of him, in fact, we only share good memories with his children, so that they grow up well. No one is allowed to tell the truth at a family reunion.

Peter-Ann, seamstress, 39:

My grandmother is very classy and coloristic, and no one in the family was able to bring dark-skinned partners around her, because she can’t control her mouth. So we tell people that she has Tourette’s disease and dementia, she’s crazy and she can’t help but say what she says. So when she’s rude to people, we just pretend she’s crazy, or try to ignore her, but she knows what she’s doing and no one’s brave enough to confront her, or talk about the why color and class are so important to her, and some other family members.

Ammoy, enlisted nurse, 35:

My young cousin is on a small island where she goes go-go dancing, but her mother thinks she works at the hospital there. She’s had the same training as me, but there’s more money doing what she does, so she’s not doing nursing at all. But we didn’t tell my aunt, because she was dying. When we have family gatherings, we just act like she’s a successful nurse, so my aunt doesn’t feel bad. Sometimes she even calls us on Skype in a nurse’s uniform to spread the lie to my poor old aunt.

Jessica C. Bell