The Cynical Imp

A stainless steel frying pan.

A stainless steel frying pan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know on Tom and Jerry, when Tom gets hit by a frying pan and there’s that ‘doiing-ng-ng!’ sound, followed by Tom’s teeth dropping out one by one?

That was me, today, after my counselling session.

The idea was to talk through M’s last day on Earth in the present tense, responding to prompts by my counsellor. The conversation would be recorded so that we could listen back to it.  The cynical imp who has occupied a space on my shoulder throughout most of my life snortled: This is going to be a total waste of time. What’s for lunch?

Yet despite him, the Exposure Therapy began.

“What’s the date?” the counsellor asked.

The cynical imp was slightly affronted. He didn’t like being taken back to that date. “It’s Saturday, February 11th, 2012.”

“What are your plans for the day?”

“We’re going to Durham. My Grandma died on Tuesday, (yes, in a tragi-comic twist, my beloved Granny died 5 days before M) so we’re going home to support Mum.”

“Are you leaving on time?”

“No – we’re messing about.”

“What are you doing?”

“M is in the shower and I’m drawing rude shapes in the condensation and telling Him that I’m apprehensive about the funeral of my Grandmother. It’s the first funeral of a family member that I have attended, and I’m scared.”

“What does M say?”

“He says, ‘don’t worry pet, I’ll be there with you…'”

We continue for 13 minutes. We go through loading the car, listening to Neil Young on the car stereo. We go through leaving the village and heading west on the A64 towards the A1 north. We don’t even make it to my Mother’s house before I’m weeping into a tissue.

The cynical imp is WELL fucked off at this emotional turn of events.

The tape is stopped and rewound. This is the point when the frying pan comes swinging into full force. I close my eyes, I listen to myself and I relive that day.

M is there, in His black-grey M&S Italian-cut jacket. We’re in the bedroom of our home: our little nest, just off the A64 – opposite the church, 100 yards from the Coach and Horses. We’re shooting the shit, talking about something and nothing, like couples do. Like couples do. Like couples do.

I sob and I sob, and the counsellor says she’s going to stop the tape.

She asks: “What was it that prompted the emotional reaction?”

“It’s the conversations which only happen between two people who have known each other intimately inside and out; who are best friends and lovers in one. The sort of conversations you can’t have with even your closest friend. I haven’t had one of those for eighteen long months. I’m never going to have one again with Him. It’s another layer of my sorrow, exposed.”

I call for a halt and leave the session.

The cynical imp is chastened and exhausted.

Round two next week. Doiing-ng-ng!!!

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18 thoughts on “The Cynical Imp

  1. I have been reading for a while. And have wanted to comment for ages, and even got as far as writing something and then it always just felt out of place somehow. I am aware of how crap that sounds.
    Big big love to you.

  2. Oh yes the messing around joking knowing each other everyday comments, they are the kick in (frying pan!) the teeth…… hope the wine helps you sleep tonight. xxxx

    • I’ve turned into a bloody insomniac Karen, wine or no wine. I realised the extent of how much I miss him during the counselling session yesterday. The void is so multi-faceted. Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. X

  3. So SORRY for your loss of M!
    I have just recently found your blog a couple of days ago 🙂
    Better late than never…
    As I’m reading your words, I realize that I have said so many of them word for word.
    Unfortunately, I became a young widow 13 years ago as a result of a unexpected death & then 10 months ago I lost my boyfriend of 10 years unexpectedly 😦 😦 😦
    Reading your blog has given me a sense of belonging. Your entries help me feel like I’m not the only one & that the way I’m feeling is somewhat “normal”
    Thank you!

    • Lori! Thanks so much for reading and commenting, I am so pleased that some of what I am writing resonates with you. That was the reason for starting the blog – finding others out there who were going through the same range of emotions. This is so isolating. I am so sorry to hear of your double losses, how utterly heart-wrenching for you – how are you doing, I wonder? Keep in contact and thanks for being out there. XXXX

  4. My partner died 7 months ago and although I have thought (incessantly at times) about what I miss most, I hadn’t thought about those daft conversations until I read your post. Thank you so much for sharing & hope the counselling helps. Hugs xx

    • Fi! So sorry for not responding sooner, your comment went into the spam folder for some reason. Firstly I am so, so sorry for your loss. I’m glad the post resonated with you. I have to say, it wasn’t until this round of counselling that I realised that I missed those conversations – the sort of conversations you have whilst sitting on the loo or wandering about naked! Hugs to you too – we’re all in this together. XX

  5. Oh my. And this counselling session is supposed to be ‘helpful?’ Yikes. Hang in there, girl. You’re doing fine. I just hope that this sort of counselling isn’t merely a ripping open of your wound. Whatever its purpose I hope it eventually is ‘helpful.’
    Big Hugs,
    CJ

    • Not inappropriate at all Lori – indeed, I wonder this myself. I am going to keep going with it for another couple of sessions. See what other traumas it yields…thanks for commenting. 🙂 X

  6. Oh god. I cried for you , I cried for me. I’m crying for everyone’s loss. It’s tragic. I often think of the better times before he got ill and those are the hardest memories because we were soul mates and knew whatever made each other happy. I’ll never have that again with anyone. Chels an I had a fight last night it’s just because time is getting closer for her to go to uni and I think we both getting anxious about it. Her embarking on a new life and me just getting on with mine alone (well with crazy animal) and she left and went to her boyfriends. I just felt totally lost as Ian wasnt here to comfort me. We just have to keep taking each day …… Xx

    • The ‘Empty nest’ must be heartbreaking enough without the added sadness of being left without the love of your life. I hear you Lynne. I wish you strength and courage. (Not that I’ve got much of that left myself). One day at a time, as you say… XXX

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