Brace, brace!


As someone who has a morbid fear of flying , what better programme to tune into last night but ‘The Plane Crash’, a documentary about a Boeing 737 which was deliberately crashed in order for engineers to see what really happens at the point of impact?

Aside from feeling a sense of vindication (yeah, OK, so it’s the safest form of travel, but Christ look what HAPPENS when something goes wrong!), there was a moment which, for me, provided a perfect visual representation of what grief feels like.

Crash test dummies were placed around the aircraft; some were strapped in, some were left untethered, some were placed in the brace position, others sat upright.

Cameras filmed from inside the cabin and caught the action within at the point of impact. The experts who examined the resultant footage agreed what we all already knew – braced, with a seatbelt fastened was the best position to adopt in the event of a crash.

What the footage also revealed though, was what happened to the dummies who were in the other positions. The poor bastard without a seatbelt was found wedged under the seat in front, folded backwards in a contortion worthy of Houdini.

But it was the guy who was sitting upright who could have been the poster boy for the aftermath of death of a spouse.

He looked forwards, unswerving in the face of the glass, luggage, wires, trays, pieces of fuselage which tore through him. His head ricocheted off the seat in front, whilst debris melted and fizzed all around. Unbelievably, the engineers believed he probably wouldn’t have died. The severity of the head injuries, however, could not be ascertained.

Adopting the brace position in grief is without doubt the safest option, but I’m starting to realise that looking forwards and facing the onslaught is a necessary part of the journey. I have done that very thing today with my counsellor. Lifted my gaze and felt the impact of the debris.

As with all catastrophic events, however, the severity of the head injuries cannot yet be ascertained.

6 thoughts on “Brace, brace!

  1. Once again you blow me away with your ability to find a storyline in amongst the detritus of widowhood. BTW I am also a terrified if fairly frequent flyer, reformed only by living very far away from my loved ones and refusing to give in to the fear.

    • Hey! Thanks for your lovely words. I know I shouldn’t let it get me, but actually since M died I have found it almost impossible to fly. It has got worse since his death. I’m treating it as a symptom of grief and hope it improves… XX

  2. Hi. I also want to say that you really capture the imagination with your excellent writing skills. And it is good that you are facing the impact of your situation full-on. Goodness, I have no idea how difficult that must be. I’m in therapy myself for a severe depression, yet it must be nothing compared to your troubles. As always, when I read a post of yours, I am sending energy from my battery so that yours may be a little more charged.

    I’ve noticed that you’ve included a huge amount of tags in this post. Do you know that if you want your post to appear on the WordPress tag threads, you need to keep the total number of tags and categories below 16? I don’t know if you’re interested in that but I thought I’d let you know. Ask if you want more info.

    • So sad to hear you are in treatment for severe depression, everyone’s problems are relative and I can imagine it must be debilitating to suffer from that. Thanks, as always, for your lovely words. Did you see I’d put your poem in a post?
      Re: tags – I confess, I know nothing about how all that jazz works. WordPress suggests them and I put them in. Don’t even know what they do, what their advantage is…god that sounds really lame! So any advice is gladly received! Love to you. X

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