Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Wednesday, 17 October 2012
Laugh Out Loud or Lots Of Love?
Following on from yesterday's post, I currently seem to be the only one retaining my sense of humour right now, and I hope I can keep it up until Sis's funeral next week, but I'm having a hard job of it and the stress is beginning to show.
Yesterday I received a text from niece saying that it felt weird to be sending a text message to me from within the warm and toasty sun-bed capsule she was lying in, knowing that - literally on the other side of the street - her mother was lying in a freezing cold one.
I replied by saying that I found that observation quite funny, and I knew that her mother would have done as well. She agreed about the irony of the situation, and then - here I went again - I said that her mother would be lying in a nice hot cabinet next week as well, when they get around to cremating her. Well, I didn't use those exact words (I'm not quite that insensitive), but as good as.
She didn't reply to that one, and I was hoping for 'LOL' or 'ha ha', to put my mind at rest, but none came. Oops. I was just trying to use the same humour on her as Sis would have done,and received no feedback as to whether or not it helped.
This time of crisis is - or should be - a temporary one for me, as my cold should be over quite soon, money will doubtless be going into my account (only to go straight out again), feedback about the manuscript samples should be received from Mr Wordsmith quite soon (hopefully positive) and sister will be rendered down to pleasant memories shortly as well. For niece, however, it will not be so simple.
Without going into too much personal family history (I am only going this far because I know it will not be seen by any of them, and there are no connecting names etc. which could be traced by anyone other than someone with too much time on their hands), her personal crisis will have to dramatically escalate before it resolves itself peacefully.
The apron-strings between niece and her mother were never cut. Now that they have actually snapped, she seems to have no obvious purpose in life, and her mental state fluctuates between highs and lows which are greatly magnified by the situation, and the situation itself will only stand a chance of being ameliorated after the torching of Sis. Until this point and a few weeks after, I will remain avuncular, but if things don't improve after that, then I will have to start telling her some home truths - for my sake as well as hers.
I learn this morning that she has now fallen out with her brother and sister-in-law - over a bloody photograph. I would like to go around right now and tell them all to grow up, but it's not so simple. Having never told them to grow up when they were children and supposed to be doing just that, I am in no position to do so now, this of all times. If the situation demands, my future role will be something between a psychologist and exorcist, when all I would like to be is a wicked uncle. More stress.
Why am I telling you strangers this? Well, I suppose you are not strangers by now, in a sense. I don't even need to be told what to do - that much is obvious. It is not as if you may possibly find this situation useful in the future or amusing in the present (as I usually justify my posts) - it is far too complicated and rare to be either.
When I learned of Sis's death, it was about 2.00 a.m. in the morning when my phone went off next to the bed. For some reason, I had left it switched on - something I never normally do. Now, I am under instructions to keep it switched on when I go to bed, in case niece needs to talk to me in the middle of the night. This means that I haven't had a peaceful night's sleep since Sis kicked the bucket, as I am half waiting for the nocturnal, tearful telephone call. I'm very tired as a consequence, and there is nothing like tiredness for ruining your sense of humour.
It takes a great deal of effort to prevent humour being replaced by anger for most people, and if the situation gets any more silly between niece and her next-door neighbours, I will be sorely tested in the run-up to the funeral.
Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible - after the other service. Look on the bright side - Halloween is just around the corner.