I encountered some dark days in the beginning. I had burnt out, lost myself on a path that was not mine, convinced myself that It would all come out right in the end. Endings, as it turns out, are just that – a cessation of actions and events that had led up to that particular conclusion. I didn’t realise at the time that I was still working through the death of my father and all those unresolved issues that stride along with father/son relationships. Back then, ten years ago, I thought that the whole thing had reached its natural conclusion – whatever unresolved issues I had would remain in that state until the end of time; dead dads don’t do therapy.
I sailed blithely onwards into the world that had become my life. I thought that I was successful and that the sky above me offered no clouds; I was wrong. The last ten years have been tumultuous. Every storm that was out there has made its way across my bow. And I sailed on.
My wife told me about a family holiday that we took just after my father’s death. It was in France, Languedoc, and one week was spent in a lovely big house next to the Canal du Midi. Strange things began to happen. Strange dreams fed upon us. And my wife recently told me that she seriously thought about divorcing me when we got back. I was horrible to live with, forever falling into rages when the world did not meet my expectations. I argued with my wife – no, I shouted at my wife, believing that she was somehow responsible for my state of mind. That storm passed, but the clouds never truly went away.
Now, ten years later, my mother has gone. I use the word gone becasues it’s the most accurate description of what had happened. In a few short weeks, she had gone from being perfectly alive to being dead. This time, there was no French holiday; Covid took care of that. I thought back to the words of our Prime Minister at the start of the first lockdown and wanted to get to a place where I could spit them back at him; he said that we would all lose some loved ones. In retrospect, it was a well executed plan by an incompetent government that didn’t care. And that’s just what everyone seems to be doing nowadays, not caring. We moved rapidly from a Blitz mentality inot one that was, ‘I’m alright, Jack’. That’s the new realism that has come about since the virus struck. You don’t need Zombies if people are already dead inside.
Now, I content myself with talking to ghosts. I’m glad that the people I have known and loved are out of this world. It’s too unkind, uncaring, and it requires us to pay homage to those who have lots of money.