Thursday, 4 September 2008

What She Wants

I don't want to stay maudlin.
Yesterday, there were phone calls, tearful, wobbly-voiced.
Now there is disbelief.

A year ago, our friend told us that the disease had returned and there was nothing that could be done to stop it. We were shocked then, but probably didn't believe there would actually be a time when he wasn't there.
When we knew it would happen within a month, and watched this already slim man grow thinner and thinner and look ever older, and then knew it would be within a few days, then that he had gone into hospital for the last time and wouldn't come out, he was still there, still alive, and then - he wasn't.
And that's the same whenever someone dies. The disbelief that it could actually happen, the finality.
I couldn't say how often still I think I'll just ring my mum and tell her something.

Yesterday, we asked each other whether we should we still meet on Monday and no-one seemed to think we shouldn't. We ended with that cliché, 'It's what he'd want,' and then both added that we HATE when people say that, like anyone knows what someone else would want.

And yet, and yet, it IS what he would want and there are some friends and rellies that you know well enough to be able to make that claim.
I could say, for example,
'We should have the most debauched party ever and get totally mashed, it's what she'd want,' about Sleepy and feel pretty sure that'd be true.

So what about me? Well, there are a few people who'd get it right.
'Let's put her in a biodegradable box made out of recycled material, it's what she'd want,' CORRECT!!
'Let's have a full requiem mass Latin, it's what she'd want,' YES!!!!I'd love that!! Cool. Throw in some Winnie Illi Pu too.
'She was British, let's play some Beatles,' WRONG!!
'Oasis?' NOPE
'Snow Patrol?' spot on, should've asked Kev in the first place.
'Let's avoid black, get everyone to wear the colours she loved, peacock blue, jade, coral, gold, apricot,' WRONG. These are my decorating colours, we've already established we're having a requiem mass, ergo, black please.
'Let's get a medium in, see if we can contact her,' sounds really bad taste? WRONG! SHE would totally be up for that.
'She wouldn't want flowers,' Oh yes she would!! She LOVES flowers. If you didn't give me flowers when I was alive, now's your big chance, last chance really.
'Let's have a big cake.' Well fine, since I'm not going to be eating it, go ahead, but if anyone wants to remember me through food, go for marmite, mashed potatoes, custard, aubergine, curry...just, not all mixed together.

Poor taste? Sorry. But Bruce did have a great sense of humour. I think he'd have smiled.


Sleepy said...

There would be hauntings if that didn't happen!
Destructive, poltergeist-y hauntings!

Karemay said...

So sorry to hear that you have lost a dear friend.
And yes, certainly Bruce would have wanted his friends to meet as usual.

Schneewittchen said...

I don't doubt it Sleepy, although if you could provide the destructive hauntings anyway at the party, that'd be even better!

Thanks Karen. I understand we'll be raising a glass or two to him on Monday as well, and Bruce was always the one with the bottle of wine, so even more appropriate.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it will really hit me until several months from now as it sinks in that no, he won't be coming back. Sounds silly, perhaps but there it be.
- Karen

Schneewittchen said...

That's how it is Other Karen, that's just how it is sometimes.

Kat said...

I don't have any good words. Doesn't everyone hate when a stranger offers platitudes so I'll just say I like your proactive approach and hope someone does the same for me one day.

Schneewittchen said...

Thank you Kat. I think it was easy to be honest and open with Bruce because he was so honest about his illness. One thing I was very glad we did, just after he told us the disease was back and incurable, someone suggested we sent him 'a bouquet of words' kind of like the things people say ABOUT you when you're dead, but we said them TO him when he was still alive and he really appreciated that. I'm so glad we did it.