Saturday, 13 May 2006

You can't see the other side, where they live

I thought I wouldn’t be around to watch the FA Cup Final today. I thought it might be the first I’d missed since 1986. But then I couldn’t work out if it was 1986 or 1989. I know I was with my mum sorting through grandma’s flat in Hailsham but 1986 is two years before she died and 1989 is one year after. But I know it was one of the Merseyside finals. One too soon. One too late.
Anyway, that thought reached totally immaterial status once cottoning onto the fact that having attended the 1990 final (and replay, bloody Mark Hughes/Les Sealy/Lee Martin/Allan Gunn etc), I was playing cricket in 1991 and football in 1992 (the Student Union should have known better). In 2001 I was at Lingfield Park and can remember very little about some of the others in between, striving for some form of twenty year significance with my last remaining grandparent struggling with nasty, virulent, terminal cancers.
But then I didn’t watch Wimbledon’s win. Or Coventry’s. And in 1985 I was playing cricket for Croydon Schools (very grand) against Sussex Schools at Sussex University (Mark Butcher was our captain, I opened the batting with him and took twenty minutes to get 0 before being bowled by one that barely skimmed the grass).
I guess it just doesn’t matter anymore. It’s not really a day that the neutrals care hugely about. And there’s more live football around the corner. I grew up watching Arsenal’s three straight finals (they lost two, hehehe) but that was when it meant something to watch a live game on television, when you were lucky to even see an England game outside of World Cups and European Championships.
It’s not an event anymore.
Nor is visiting hospital to see relatives in trouble.
I’ve done it too much recently, too many near death experiences (four in the family in just over two years, all different people, no deaths to speak of though). And now the near death experience is a nearly dead experience I find myself empty. Too many close calls and now an actual call. And my reaction? To be an emotional void. Is being practical and logical only possible by being detached?
Should I force myself to be visibly upset? Would that help others? Should you really get ready to grieve for a wonderful 85 year old lady when she has lived a long and fruitful live and now only seeks to die quickly and peacefully? To grieve when death would be a release seems a paradox to me, something designed to make me feel better. But what I want is for her to get what she wants. She wants to die.
It’s her time to go. Why so sad?
And if that's too depressing then here are a couple of pretty boats that went past the flat this week: