There was a crash outside our village this weekend. Ambulances, police cars, rubber-neckers, the lot.
My heart sank at the prospect of fatalities. Which poor sod would get the policeman at their door telling them that their loved one was dead?
Whilst no less devastating, losing your spouse suddenly is a different experience to watching them succumb to a long illness.
You have no time to prepare, to say goodbye, for them to make any last minute confessions or request Agadoo be played at the funeral.
Equally, you don’t face the agony of the slow diminishment of the person you love, of steering them through the realities of imminent death and the fact that they will never see their kids grow up.
In a sense, with M, we went through both of these scenarios.
He fell ill, suddenly and catastrophically, in 2008. He was wheeled into emergency open-heart surgery, not knowing whether He would see daylight again.
But He survived, and the prognosis was good. A ‘normal lifespan’ was to be expected, according to the Bald Surgeon in the Blue Scrubs. (How I came to fear the Bald Surgeon in the Blue Scrubs – he and his team of wingmen would come sweeping onto the ward and announce yet further obstacles to M’s recovery – collapsed lung, mild mid-brain stroke – but despite it all, we were discharged with the belief that a ‘normal lifespan’ was to be expected.)
I had watched my beloved suffer though; I had seen the fear in His eyes. His rehabilitation was gruelling, but His determination to live somehow over-rode every setback.
It seemed like God’s final insult, therefore, to have finished Him off in the way He did. Unceremoniously, with no regard for how far we had come.
So much for God and Bald Surgeons.