I’m interrupting this interlude to bring you some normal programming.
I had to take a little break there, while I didn’t feel particularly funny (and for some reason became allergic to the internet). That’s not to say that nothing is funny after someone dies. Grief apparently has a sense of humour too. The humour is just very different – and it’s a lot like a sit-com in places.
There was the part of the funeral homily my follically challenged Dad would have appreciated most, when all the women in the congregation were told to stop dyeing their hair. The look on the face of the guy outside the crematorium who had to run after me to tell me he’d broken the coffin plate.
Then there was the man himself, the dearly departed, whose great wit was remembered and recounted at great length throughout the period I like to call the funeral bubble, when it’s kind of all right because everyone’s in it together and swapping stories about the only one who’s missing.
And so, despite the relief in finding that there is indeed comedy in everything, it would have felt seriously weird, just to return to ha-ha-so-jolly-did-ya-hear-the-one-about-the-stereotype-who-walked-into-a-blog jokes, without at least acknowledging what got me through the last 2 months. Especially this week, which particularly sucked, being also the anniversary of my remarkable Mum’s even more untimely passing, so let’s just leave that there.
And so here, therefore, are 5 recommended aids to get a body through the first few months after a loved one dies:
For a lot of grieving people, reading becomes impossible. It’s probably something to do with certain parts of your brain going into Safe Mode. It can be very upsetting, though, not being able to read: it’s not what you need when you’re already trying to figure out what the hell is going on in your head. The answer to this dilemma, apparently, is true crime podcasts. I devoured them for about 4 weeks solid. This has the added bonus of keeping you away from the news, which is depressing even for happy people with functioning brains.
I don’t care who you are or what you do for a living, one of the few things that’s going to make sense to do after someone dies, is cleaning. It’s logical, sensible, immediately satisfying, and you have complete control over it. Think about it: there is dirt on the thing. You remove the dirt. The thing is now clean. Instant, indisputable results, and fairly mindful too.
They say that anger is one of the 5 or 7 stages of grief, depending on whose dodgy roadmap you’re looking at. However, they don’t say anything about the benefit to one’s psychology of being in a space where nobody even questions your right to be angry. Allowing yourself to get mad at eejitry can be oddly comforting, as can being openly dismissive in the case that one might have one or more colleagues or collaborators who must be suffered gladly at other, non-griefy, times of life, no matter how much you want to tell them otherwise.
Some people call this singing, but that wouldn’t look half as cool in a listicle. I sing in a few choirs, and it’s even more mindful than cleaning. It washes a lot of the sad sticky dross from your head, and shakes out the rugs while it’s at it. Of course, this isn’t really an option available to everyone, but there’s nothing stopping you belting out an old showtune while you’re in the shower, or hoovering.
I got a big leopard named Brendan, and I hug him when I’m sad. There is more to this story, but I won’t ruin it by telling you.
So that’s it. I’ll be back soon with standard messing about. Until then, thanks for checking in on me, and being generally lovely in your comments last time around.