“Haven’t I been brave?” asks that scared, tired five year old girl in my mind, her eyes huge and blue and so clear you can see right through to her soul’ holding a flannel blanket that smells vaguely of my mother and still holds some of her warmth’ “Haven’t I been so very, very brave? Don’t I deserve a gold star now? Don’t I get someone to hold my hand?”
The short answer is- no.
Life is unfair. And bad things happen to good people, all the time.
Being brave doesn’t guarantee you’ll be rewarded in any way. It just means you feel better about yourself. You can say, ‘I’ve been brave’. ‘I’ve been strong.’ And that is the coldest, most horrible blessed relief.
Life is patently unfair. Babies die, husbands die, whole families starve. And, as they say, even worse things happen at sea.
Life sucks.And then you die too.
Sometimes I wonder what happens here, to this blog. Everyone else moves on from this much faster than I do. How much can you write about grief? How may times can I say “It hurts, it hurts, it hurts!” before the world world is sick of hearing it? No one likes self indulgence.
But this is my heart, my soul… the only thing that provides me with any kind of self esteem. What would I do without it?
I ask my mate Bunny, “surely, knowing what I’ve been through, he wouldn’t deliberately hurt me?”
Bunny thinks about this, weighs culture and age and gender against the simple principles of humanity, and divides them by the argument that is unfurling around me.
“I doubt it. You wouldn’t think so. Most blokes have more balls than that.”
As it turns out, we were wrong.
And then you die.