A story of grief by a man and a boy
Olivia Newton John has been on TV a lot recently. I don’t even watch that much TV and I’ve seen her on three shows. Every time I’ve seen her face I’ve had the song Grease Lightning in my head. Except in my version the word ‘grease’ is replaced by ‘grief’. That’s not because I’ve developed a morbid obsession with grief. It’s because I’m scared. I’m fearful of lightning striking twice because it’s simply not true that it doesn’t. It’s just something that we say because we hope it won’t.
I’m so frightened of being struck again that I feel Death’s presence in the room. He seems to always be with me. He’s watching over me just like he does Liesel in The Book Thief. And I feel like he hasn’t finished with me yet.
These days I tend to try not to worry about the future. I understand that we have little control over it and if I picture myself with a teenage son, me in my forties, it terrifies me so I don’t bother. But my macabre companion whispers in my ear and tells me that there is more to come. That’s it’s entirely inevitable. I can’t hear the sound of him sharpening his scythe, he’s not necessarily preparing for an immediate hit, but he’s coming one day. And I’m not scared that he’s coming to get me. I’m just petrified of how I’ll feel when he takes anyone else that I love.