A Good Week?

By Emma Pearson

April 2, 2020

27 January 2020

It’s been a good week. By most objective and subjective measures, it’s been a good week. For me.

And I realise it’s been a horrendous week and few days for anyone who is newly widowed, grieving, going through date landmines, dealing with death-admin. I am not a follower of Basketball, American or any other type, but god knows I have some sense of what Vanessa Laine Bryant must be beginning to experience, losing both a spouse and a child as both she and I have done.

I don’t want to be in her shoes. Even though I am, to a degree. I don’t want to be in anyone’s shoes who is so totally sucked into ground zero. I hope she finds community. Not just with widbuds, and not just with people who have lost a child, but with people who have lost a spouse AND a child. It hurts just to try to put myself in her shoes for a few minutes. I can’t. I recoil at the horror. I am sure she is recoiling at the horror too.

I am sure she will hear or read people saying, “Oh – but at least she’s got money” (might relieve some additional stress but not a jot on the emotional loss). “Oh – at least she still has 3 daughters” (NO! You grieve because of what you have lost, not because of what you still have. That’s called gratitude. Important but takes a while). “Oh – at least the youngest won’t grieve because she won’t remember her dad” (She will – she will grieve never knowing her amazing dad. She will be angry at her older sisters who got to have memories, hellishly painful as they will be).

I would love to spare her the platitudes. But they will come. And she will wonder why she feels so angry around people’s “comforting” statements.

She will also hear, “Things happen for a reason”, and “At least it was fast”, and “You don’t get more than you can handle”, and “Be grateful you had 20+ years with him”, and “You’re young and beautiful and you will find someone else”, and “He would want you to be happy”, and “At least you still have three beautiful daughters”, and “You need to stay strong for your girls”, and “He is all around you”, and “In time you will just remember the good times”….

Vomit vomit vomit vomit vomit vomit vomit vomit.
It makes me so angry.

I am deeply sorry for you, beautiful Vanessa. How could a man as strong and vibrant and talented and loving as your Kobe just die? Just go “pouf” into thin air? How could your beautiful second child, the gorgeous Gianna Maria-Onore, and so many of her basketball buddies, also fit, strong, engaged with love and life, just evaporate?

I am sorry for your loss, Vanessa, Natalia, Bianka and Capri. For the loss of your future and dreams. For all the unknowns. For all of the what ifs and if onlys. For the unfinished business, in-progress conversations, untold secrets, untapped potential. For the loss of your present. Your ability to lead a “normal” life forever gone. And for the loss of your past, the memories that you inevitably have from your 20+ years together, now and always tinged with sadness. Bittersweet at best.

And wasn’t I saying it had been a good week for me? How tenuous the “good” state of our lives is. How quickly it can pivot into a nightmare made in hell.

My week has been good, dammit. In no particular order:

I have had two lovely swims with the Masters group

I had four days skiing in the Chamonix valley with a girlfriend I don’t see often enough

I had a live conversation with my eldest daughter

(she told me she had participated in a music talent show – here’s the link – NB scroll to number 6, Megan Kemp – I am so so proud!)

I had a long conversation with a friend whose mumma has recently died – peacefully, of old age – (but still….!!) and we hope to do some paid work together

I walked the dog and cuddled the cat

I went out with Medjool to an interesting session on “end of life care & wishes” (I know too much about this, but sometimes it’s interesting to hang out with people who know even more, albeit from a research angle, rather than quite as up close and personal as I have had)

I cuddled Medjool in the middle of the night, just because he was in my bed, and having someone in my bed is still a rare and beautiful thing, and by golly is it worth celebrating, however sleepy it is

I had a beautiful massage with a friend (good owie owie)

I had a fruitful session with my “grief coach”, Tom Zuba

I did some good client work and got a couple of new work opportunities

I relished and savoured every morsel of the most delicious “magret de canard” (duck breast cooked the way only the French seem able to) – which is a delightful treat since Medjool does not indulge in dead animals, and swilled it down with a rich red wine – yum

I have become a great-aunt for the gazillionth time (seriously, I think I have 10 great nephews and nieces by now… Clearly I am not going to be a very effective great-aunt if I don’t even know how many there are)

Lots of sunshine

And even fresh snow

And I know that there is more to celebrate in my good week than I can recall right now.

Most of all though, it was a good week because:

No deaths in the lives of people I care about

No illness, no sickness

No major trauma (some, of course, because of what my ski-buddy friend and I have both been through in recent times)

All of that equates to a good week.

I am blessed. In this moment, I am truly blessed.

Thank you week. Thank you life.

About Emma Pearson

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