I love catastrophising, me. It’s one of my favourite pastimes. If my molars aren’t clamped together in angst, there’s something wrong.
Furthermore, I like nothing more than spending an idle moment picturing myself receiving bad news. Before Mark’s death, the worst combination of words anyone could have said to me were: “Mark is dead.”
In my reverie, on receiving this news, I saw myself, a sprawling, dribbling mess on the floor, unable to speak or move. I wept and wailed, pummelled my fists against my chest, and implored sweet Satan to explain why he had inflicted such sorrow upon my house.
Sometimes in my reverie I even went so far as to throw myself into the grave alongside my beloved, but that was only during a particularly tedious Powerpoint.
One thing I never envisioned myself doing though was looking at the stout little paramedic who delivered those very words and saying: “Right.”
I honestly did. I said: “Right.”
And then I made a cup of tea.
The reason I mention it is because last night I watched a documentary about the murder of Anni Dewani. Her husband, Shrien, is implicated in the death and whilst I have no idea whether he did it or not, a piece of footage was shown in which we see his reaction when he heard the news that she’d been found dead.
He is in a hotel corridor when he takes the blood-chilling call. Minutes later he is seen holding his hands up to his face and is led into his hotel room to be given a sedative. Then an hour later, he is seen prowling the hotel corridor on the phone to a friend, laughing and joking. What kind of maniacal psychopath would be LAUGHING after hearing his wife had been found dead? Surely that fucker wears guilt like a shroud!
Thing is, when I received that dreaded news, I was a dot-eyed, blank-faced caricature of what I always envisioned I’d be when faced with a statement of this magnitude. I may have laughed. I definitely drank. I didn’t, though, as I recall, cry. Not for a few days anyway. I didn’t break down and I didn’t commit suicide.
What this says about the Dewani murder I don’t know.
All I’m saying is don’t judge a griever by their laughter.
8 thoughts on “Ways to spend an idle moment”
I so ‘enjoy’ your posts as you seem to ‘get’ me and how I’m feeling so well. I was reliving G’s last day (as I do so often) and I was thinking about how matter of fact I was about it all. I was with him when he died and as soon as they said he’d gone, it was ‘ok, can you do something so his mum doesn’t see him like this’. I didn’t cry, I didn’t scream and shout – that came later – I kissed him and let the nurses do their thing. Thinking about it, it may have seemed harsh, but you don’t think about that at the time, you just react don’t you? I’ve found that during this journey I’ve really had to rethink old opinions and prejudices and how I used to judge things from my smug ‘my life is great’ position. Who am I to say how someone should react to death or how long they should wait till they find someone else etc. If I’m honest I probably still have my opinions on it, but I’ve learned not to judge out loud. Love & hugs xx
It is great for me too to know that you are out there, feeling the same way. If you know what I mean!! I too feel much less judgemental these days about people’s reactions to anything (even though some people floor me with their responses!) Sometimes though I just feel like I’m a bad griever or something, I don’t appear to be following the path as outlined in the textbooks. But each to their own. Much much love. XX
That’s exactly how my mother and sister act…’how great my life is’ and have not been there for me one minute. I’m on my own. My husband’s sister, nonexistent through this. She cried and cried and fell over on him (they only talked on the phone twice a month even though we lived 30 minutes apart; never saw each other at holidays), which I found quite weird. They have no clue what it feels like to lose someone who was with you every day for the past 30 years. Thanks for your reply. I felt the same way that dreadful night.
Yup, relate to this too. XX
I too check my emails and wait for a post to appear that will make me smile. Which obviously is yours and not ‘your meter reading is due’
I think until Ian died I did not understand truly the grief that people feel when they lose a loved one. I’m struggling to go out with anyone but my kids at the moment because I feel if I go out with friends and I laugh. People will judge me thinkin I’m having a good time. And altho my councillor from the butterwick says that’s just fine to have a laugh and enjoy life, I’m not in that place yet but when I’m with my girls I have no guilt as we all have lost someone dear to us so when we laugh it’s ok. As I’ve lost my husband and they’ve lost their dad. So when we laugh it’s ok because our heart is still breaking but we can still find comfort together and life goes on. But it’s a different life. It’s just adapting to life without someone. God knows when it will get any easier. Who knows. But on the plus side ‘devil dog’ is settling slightly and I’m glad I didn’t give up on him. He’s becoming my companion. However if he had a voice I think he’d say ‘for gods sake ! Will u stop cryin for just once ?’ Still waitin for Rachael to organise our nite. Love n hugs xx
Eee, thanks for that. I too look forward to your comments! That is why this whole bullshit is so isolating – no-one can possibly understand if they’ve not been through it. It angers me when people say, ‘You’ll feel differently in a year or so’ – I feel like saying ‘Oh yeah? And how do you know?’ Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. But don’t try to tell me how I should be grieving. I laugh – often – but do feel the guilt that goes with it. Glad devil dog is becoming more of a companion than a mill stone. He’ll prove himself, as my boy has. Much love. XX
My husband passed on Mother’s Day (yes he did) 2013. He was dying in my arms. My son and I performed CPR as best we could until the EMTs arrived. We were in panic mode and did not cry. I screamed and yelled, don’t you f-ing die on me M-F’r! When the EMTs arrived, I just sat and watched, didn’t cry a tear, just stared at them working on my lifeless husband. I knew he was gone. He mumbled to me, “I love you” before his eyes went to a blank stare (at least that’s what I believe he said because he knew he was leaving me). We were calm driving to the hospital, looking for my daughter. My girlfriend came for support and we went out after and had drinks – all of us, kids included. We toasted him and we were sort of glad he wasn’t suffering mentally anymore, but when I went home and laid across my bed, I just couldn’t believe he was gone. Now, I cry at any given moment. Even at the hospital, I didn’t cry, I just stared at him and was freaking scared and mad as hell at him for leaving me alone. I’m still mad as hell and yell at him all the time. Still waiting for God to show me the light, what am I supposed to do? Losing my home is something I don’t want, but is a reality. Thanks, Ken, for putting me in this mess.
Hi Donna, so sorry to hear you are having such a bad time. So sorry, too, for the loss of Ken. Shock is definitely an anaesthetic, it took me a while to begin to ‘feel’ again. I was just talking to a friend yesterday about issue similar to the one you raise – in a sense, it’s almost worse being the one left, as you have to deal with the bomb blast as well as the crippling void. The light will come, I’m sure of it. Hang in there and come back if you need to. Much love Donna and thanks for sharing your story. XXX