Luciano Pavarotti died this week at 71. Fans of every stripe lined up to offer suitable tributes. An enormous talent who will be missed.
My strongest emotion was one of resentment. Pavarotti’s family – his widow Nicoletta and daughters Lorenza, Christina, Guilian and Alice – had him for six more years than we had Dad.
I find I do it all the time – read obituaries and am indignant when the deceased lasted longer than 65. It’s like there’s a little girl inside yelling “it’s not fair!”.
Is this how everyone feels after the death of a loved one? Probably – I don’t imagine I am doing any more than plodding down the well-trod road of loss. Destination? Comfortable acceptance, I hope.
Recently my sister and I were chatting to the daughter of a friend of Dad’s. Her father died a couple of years ago.
“Does it get any easier?” we asked.
“Yes and no. You still get whacked around the back of the head by it when you least expect it and it doesn’t hurt any less, it’s just that the gaps between the whacks get a little longer,” she replied.
I’m a huge believer in the ingenuity of Mother Nature – pretty much everything, however grisly, happens for the greater good of our fabulous human race.
This includes giving teenage boys acne so that teenage girls won’t fancy them and making new mothers so addled they daren’t drive a car forcing them to stay in and look after baby.
So MN has set our world up so we each have parents and – all else being equal – the parents will die first. And she has condemned us all to feeling wretched when they do.
There has to be a reason, but at the moment I’m struggling a little to find it.