It’s been an emotional few months. Well, an emotional life, really. What are we if not a mixing bowl of emotions? See? I told you. I’m still emotional and am likely to remain so. What is the alternative to emotional? Control? And what is that if not simply the pretence of something clearly not real?
So, a coronavirus pandemic announced itself last year and in June 2020 I was struck down by what everyone quickly learned to call COVID-19. I was lucky. Just five days exhausted in bed and then a few weeks to declare myself close to 100% fit. The rest of the year was a blur. Work, rest. Repeat. Then in December I lost communication with my dad. Phone trouble was all. After a few weeks of re-established contact, dad died, on or around January 21, 2020. I went from fretting that I couldn’t call him to facing the reality that I will never call him again.
So, that completes the set – mum and dad now gone to the ages. Losing dad made losing mum all the more real, oddly enough. I’ve always taken my time to come to terms with the facts of life, but over three years to fully appreciate that my mum is dead seems excessive.
Again I am reminded of the power of denial. Show me an unpleasant fact and I can show you a distraction. It’s survival, when all is said and done. How else are we supposed to go on? We can’t very well wake up every day and embrace the horror that awaits us all at some unmarked date.
And then there is regret. The most useless of all emotions. First we nail ourselves to a cross for being human and inevitably getting something wrong. Then, in the ultimate act of self-hatred, we feel bad about what we have done, and then feel bad for feeling bad. The perfect feedback loop of misery.
And I remember what my mum used to say when I sometimes expressed how worried I was about her latest self-made crisis. “Andrew, get on with your life.”
It’s been an emotional few months. I wouldn’t have it any other way.