Death’s a funny thing, isn’t it? Funny weird, not funny haha. Nobody knows where you’ve gone or why or what’s happened to you. You’re just there one minute and then…then you’re not. You’re just an empty shell, a nothingness that bears no resemblance to you, the real you. You’re lost in the realm of things that can’t be explained, whilst those you’ve left behind are wandering, wondering, shell-shocked and surprised even though really, it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise. It happens to everyone eventually, and you were old and sick, it was on the cards.
Death’s a funny thing. It changes everything. Even the little things. A week ago, I avoided phoning – because there is only so much you can talk about the weather before you want to bang your head against a brick wall. Now, I’d give anything to have a chat, just a five-minute phone call, about the weather. It’s raining here, by the way. Been miserable all day. What’s it like where you are?
There’s an underlying guilt too, and not just about the phone calls or the arguments we may have had in the past but about life, our lives, going on without you. Should I really be eating dinner, on a day like today? And why on earth am I doing the laundry? Because I need clean pants, that’s why. I’m sure you’d prefer I wear clean pants, even on the day you died.
Mourning is awkward, for people like us. We’re not touchy-feeling and we don’t like drama. We’re bottlers, really, tucking everything away and carrying on, and that’s not so bad. Maybe it’s the only way. At least in death, we can look at life. It’s that jolt we need to re-analyse, to remember to forget the stress and the heart-ache, the petty arguments, the stupidness that we’re all part of, from time to time. It’s a reminder to say “life’s too short, let’s move on. It’s really not important anymore”. It really shouldn’t take a death, but it’s there and there’s nothing we can do about it. Let’s move on and take joy in things that really are important, the things we love and cherish. Let’s focus on the things that make us happy, instead of the things that make us sad or stressed or depressed. Let’s do that, and let’s remember too. Let’s not need another death.
And in the meantime, wherever you, whoever you’re with, and whatever you’re doing, I hope you’re doing it with a big bottle of whisky, a pack of smokes, and a grin on your face because finally, finally, those blasted giddy spells have disappeared.