The Importance of ‘Getting It’

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When faced with the very real possibility of becoming homeless, the threat of losing my piano was an overwhelming and thoroughly devastating thought. And, was it not for a friend who told me that, if we have to go into emergency accommodation, she would keep my piano for me, I am sure I would not have been able to prevent my breakdown.

See, this friend gets that my piano is not an optional possession. She said to me, “Not having your piano would be like losing an arm, like not having part of yourself.”

Exactly.

Some people could not understand my distress at being faced with this loss…of, what to them, is just a thing. They said things like, “Well, it will be different, but you will deal.”

No. No, I would not “deal”. My piano isn’t a want; it is a need. And, life being the bastard that it is, sometimes we don’t get what we absolutely require. Sometimes we lose the necessary, the very necessary. And, when this happens, it is not possible to simply deal.

This friend of mine was the first person, other than my husband, to acknowledge the gravity of the matter. Her offer and comfort mean so much to me. More than that, it’s her understanding that is so very precious to me.

Could I live without my piano? Could I survive? Well, fucking hell, of course, I could. But, survival is very overrated. A loss like that would mean being forced to go on in a grief-ridden, crippled state. A fate very much worse than death. That I will not be forced to do that at this time is a relief beyond my ability to describe.

Well meaning people don’t help when they say, “you’ll survive”. The only thing that helps is understanding and a willingness to, well, help. That is compassion. That is friendship.

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Life Goes On

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“Life goes on.” Don’t you just hate this saying? It’s right up there with “snap out of it” and “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” (gag). The problem is, unlike those latter sayings, “life goes on” is true.

I recently watched an episode of a tv programme I like. In this episode, one of the characters has lost his wife to cancer. He looks out the window and laments that the view is the same. The love of his life is gone from him and so the view shouldn’t be the same.

I agree.

When there is grief, or when life just generally fucks you over, or when the complications that are a part of chronic illness happen, the world should stop. Life shouldn’t go on. But, it does. Relentlessly. Maddeningly. It just keeps going on. And on. And on. It’s wrong, on soooooo many levels.

And we wear our fake smiles and masks and try our best to appear normal because people we encounter are going to tell us “life goes on”. Human compassion has its limits, and they don’t have the capacity to deal with our pain (another reason life should not go on). So, we prepare our lies for when they ask us how we are. “I’m fine.”

I’ve often said this:

Life goes on. And that, my friends, is the tragedy.

It isn’t the loss, or the unfairness of life, or the issues that arise because of our illness – those things are bad enough, but they aren’t the tragedy. The tragedy is that life goes on…when it shouldn’t.

And, so, with all this in mind, I wrote this song and created the artwork for the video.

No, not everyone will get it or like it. But, there will be many who will. It will resonate with anyone who has ever suffered a significant loss, and it will resonate with my fellow squishy brainers. We’re the ones who know what the tragedy actually is.