If you’re an Eddie Izzard fan, you know what I mean when I say Cake or Death

WELL, WE’RE ALL OUT OF CAKE.

I’ve got death on the mind lately. Which normally for me usually means something morbid and creepy is churning up in my brain for my fictional writing, but this time, I really just mean death. Like everyday-ironically-a-big-part-of-life death.

Things No One Told Me About Death

1. When you’ve been touched by Death [i.e. when someone close to you dies] other people are uncomfortable around you. I think it’s because they want to say something to make it better and there’s nothing to make it better. But also because it makes them realize Death can touch them too and that’s something we don’t like to think about it. and then you feel weird, because they feel weird. It’s a big cloud of weirdness around you.

2.It’s mostly a tragedy only to you. Most people’s lives go on the next day or the next week or the next month. But you’re kind of stuck dealing with it for a lot longer. You stare at things trying to figure out how it’s all working when you’re not.

3. People still get awkward when you talk about the dead person. In my case, I felt like people were awkward or uncomfortable when I talked about my dad for about a six months after he died. Like, just because he died he didn’t become less a part of my life, you know? But it was like when I would say something like, “Well, my dad used to say…” or “Yeah, my dad owned a restaurant for a lot of years…” or “Dad liked getting lotto tickets and socks for presents….” people would almost pause, like a deer in the headlights. I think it’s because they were having an internal monologue of “OH SHIT, SHE’S TALKING ABOUT HER DEAD DAD. DO I SAY I’M SORRY AGAIN? DO I ASK HER HOW SHE IS? DO I EVEN MENTION THAT I KNOW HE’S DEAD?” – I felt like they really wanted to say something nice or helpful and they just weren’t sure if they should and that made them feel weird.

4. Minutiae is eternal. The phone still rings and the car needs gas and you get a salad dressing stain on your favorite shirt and how can this all be happening when you have experienced this kind of a loss? When Donna’s mum died, I was the awkward one. She was talking to me on the phone and I remember thinking, “How can she just be TALKING to me right after her mum died?” and then 8 months later, my dad died and I told her about that moment and how now, I got it. You just go on and there’s stuff to do. She nodded and said, “Yeah. There is.” But I didn’t get it until that moment.

5. For something you think about a lot, it can still surprise you. Once, about two years after my dad died, I was at the office working. I can’t remember exactly what happened but Chantal and I had just come back from a break or lunch or something and Jessi said, “Oh, you’re dad called for you.” and I was like “Oh really? I wonder what he – what a minute, my dad is dead.” and I realized that Jessi was talking to Chantal. But for that moment, I forgot. I also have seen a man once or twice that looks like my dad and again, for that moment, I’m like “HEY DAD!!!” and then I realize it can’t be him.

6. Okay, I don’t know if this happens to everyone, but my mum and I had “OH SHIT HE WASN’T REALLY DEAD” dreams. Mum would realize in her dream that dad wasn’t really dead and DAMMIT how would she explain that she sold his car? Maybe because of the stuff I read and write, mine were a bit more graphic. I would full on dream we made a mistake and buried him alive and now we had to go dig him up and JESUS how did we FUCK THAT UP SO BADLY. And it would be a dream that I would have several times, with several variations and in the dream, I’d remember the other times it had happened and I’d just feel SICK and wonder how we kept getting this so horrifically wrong.

I’m sure there are other things that I didn’t know about Death. I’m sure I’ll find out more [unfortunately], but those are the things that have been on my mind lately.

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