This is not a suicide note

In a tragi-comic twist, my Granny died five days before M.

Me, writing a message down for Granny on the whiteboard, as she couldn't hear.

Me writing a message down for Granny on the whiteboard, as she couldn’t hear.

She was old, tired, she’d had enough. She was also much beloved.

M and I cried together when we heard the news. Little did we know that by the end of that same week, He’d be gone too.

The day after Granny died, Dad told me: “It’s sad, but life is for the living.”

I took it as one of those perfunctory statements that people make in such situations. Didn’t give it much thought, got on with the task of living. For the next four days, at least, until my world would shockingly and without warning become utterly un-liveable.

Dad’s statement has been on my mind lately though. I understand what he was saying, but does living really exclude the dead?

In a purely physical way, yes it does. But M is still so much part of the fabric of my life and that of my daughter, I can’t condemn Him to that other land. His presence is felt in everything, from the food we eat, to the TV we watch, to the choices we make about the future.

I still grapple with a need to conceptualise the two worlds (living and dead) and their relationship with each other, which is why I cannot yet inter His ashes. I need a physical remnant of Him to remain here – a box of dust to act as a bridge between the two lands.

In the early days after M died, I wanted to die myself. Not to ‘be with Him’, because I don’t believe that’s how it all ends up. (If it does, however, knowing my luck I’d be stuck with Whitney Houston, who died on the same day. Christ, imagine that warbling in your ear for the ever-after.)

I wanted to die because the pain of losing Him was so intense, I just wanted it to stop. Many widows I know felt the same.

I never actually attempted to end my life though – mainly for fear that I’d end up in a series of botched attempts like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. But also because I have a responsibility to myself and those still living who love me. Plus it isn’t the answer to all this. I’m not sure what is.

But given that we’re all heading that way in the end, and seemingly there is no logic or forewarning from the Reaper, my revenge is to live.

And to live well. Cheers!

10 thoughts on “This is not a suicide note

  1. It’s strange but until you actually loose someone close to you. All that ‘live life to the full you never know what’s round the corner!’ Never really means that much. You think you are living life to the full. But you never really think life is gonna end so soon so you think you’ll have time tomorrow to do other things but then you don’t have that luxury of tomorrow. I too wanted to end my life on many occasions and still do at times. But I couldn’t do that to my children and I’m too damned cowardly. And to be honest havin this damned dog doesn’t leave me with much opportunity for suicidal thoughts. Is this a good or bad thing ? Good !! Probably. And he knocked my wine clean out of my hand tonight so he’s helping with my alcoholism. However I ended up locking him in kitchen and bringin the rest of the bottle to bed. Peace at last. Xx

    • I think your hound is a force for good in many ways Lynne! Even though he may be a pain in the arse… Cowardice is definitely a feature, but also, the basic human survival instinct I think. Plus, would he have wanted you to live on and enjoy what he was denied or not? I know M would be very cross with me if I chose to end it. However tempting it feels at times… Hugs and hics to you. XXX

  2. I’m sorry about your Gran.The last time I saw mine she didn’t know any of us. She was singing and I sang a bit for a minute and she paused and looked at me. I thought she might know me then but when I stopped she went back to humming to herself. This is awful but with your comment about Whitney I’m just going to go ahead and share it…don’t hate me XO

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