The lucky ones – By @Holly_Georgious
By Holly Georgious
The lucky ones
Before you read on you should know that the name of the person concerned has been changed to conceal their identity. It is not that I think any of you know them, or would hunt them down and find them, but more out of respect. Because it is not really my story to tell, not the ins and outs of it anyway. But it is an important lesson and that is why I am sharing it.
When I first started writing this SCAB it was going to be something very different. ‘The brief brief,’ a somewhat cynical, mildly humorous and probably half-hearted attempt at comparing the 90 minute brief to Ready Steady Cook. It was another piece of drivel, spewed out into the world, that really had no place being there, all in a desperate attempt to get my SCAB out on time.
That was the plan. Until I got home yesterday and everything changed. “We’ve had some bad news” said my mum, as juiced some satsumas and melted some chocolate. Assuming she was joking I put on a silly voice ‘Owww nooo’ I said patronizingly ‘What is it?’ Before she could answer I started listing off the stupid things it could be ‘Is it that Holly didn’t buy you a present on her way home? Or that your diamond necklace needs a clean? Is it that the doctors wasn’t open? Or that you ate all the chocolate before I was back?’ She carried on squeezing my brother beside her now and said ‘No we have got some very bad news’. I thought of all the the worst things it could be. The things that genuinely would be bad, until I had it ‘Oh no, don’t tell me my portfolios didn’t arrive!’ I said slightly annoyed. She paused. ‘No. We’re not joking. Staz’s mum died.’ Silence. ‘Oh. Oh my God.’ Stunned. ‘How?’ Confused. ‘When?’ Disbelief. ‘She wasn’t even ill.’ Shocked.
Staz is in her twenties, to an extend her age is irrelevant, but she is young, younger than me. She is a university friend of my brother’s, but she has, over the past few years, become part of the family, staying with us whenever she is in London, until she can afford a place of her own. She is sweet, shy and kind. Anxious at times and fragile. But she is smart, clever, funny and motherless. Now she is motherless.
Losing your mother, in any way, at any age, to me, is one of the most horrific things that could happen to a person. A pain so great that to try and put it in words would be meaningless. But there are at least times when the pain no matter how strong can be helped by the fact that your loved one is no longer ill, or in hurting or maybe, hopefully, they have lived a long good life. But to die, for your mum to die, when she is young, when you are young, when she is well, randomly, out of the blue. That is something that is incomprehensible. That is a heart ripping, eye streaming, breath stabbing, throat lumping, ocean crying pain, that cannot be helped by a silver lining.
I thought about Staz for a moment. About the how distraught she must be, how lost how bloody confused, how everything has changed for her now. Her life, her plans, her dreams, how she sees herself, who she’ll go to when shes feeling down, who will treat her, will spoil her, will pick her up, will tuck her in, will be there, will love her. Who she’ll confide in, will laugh with, will ugly laugh with, will look after her when she’s ill, who will read her work, will pick up the phone at midnight, will be proud of her, will boast about her, will remember her birthday, will cook the Christmas meal, will help her, will love her, will hug her.
At the beginning of the evening the worst I could think would have happened was my folders not being delivered on time and here is a young girl, a lovely girl, a normal girl who I know, whose world has been blown to rubble. I cuddled my mum close and squeeze her tightly. ‘I love you mum’ I said ‘ so so much.’ And as we stood there silently reflecting on what had just happened all I could think was how fortunate we are to have each other, we really are, the lucky ones.