helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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We had some bad news this morning. Richard's mum died last night.

I don't know how I'm feeling. Obviously we're both really upset, but beyond that I can't put it into words. Both of us can feel the grief in our stomachs.

She wasn't old or ill or anything. She just died suddenly. All I know is that it was a heart attack - Richard's dad was too upset to go into details. We'll find out later when he's more up to talking.

The timing is... impeccable. We were thinking about death last night, because Cath's grandad is very ill at the moment, and they're basically just waiting for him to die. He's too weak for them to treat his illness, so pretty much all the hospital can do is try to keep him comfortable until he goes. Which is not really a great way to die, but at least he's had a good innings.

I feel very odd. I was writing in Cath's journal yesterday, and I was saying some stuff about my family. The thing is, I've just realised today, apart from my own grandad (my mum's dad) who died when I was about 16, the only other blood relative I've ever been particularly close to was Richard's mum. When I wrote that stuff yesterday about how the death of one of my own family members wouldn't upset me much, I was only thinking about my own family. I hadn't even considered Richard's family being part of my family. I feel a bit... weird about that.

The reason I'm not particularly close with any of my own family is that I don't feel that I can communicate with any of them. I don't get that feeling of being on the same wavelength. When I talk to any of my family members it's about trivial things - just smalltalk. None of my family really know who I am or understand the things that are important to me. The closest I get with anyone (apart from my aforementioned grandad) is with my own mum, but we're very different people with completely different outlooks on life, and she has loads of problems of her own to deal with, so we never really talk about the things that are important to me.

I didn't know Richard's mum that well, but she was fundamentally sane and sensible and - nice. I could see a lot of Richard in her. She liked books and history and gardens, and I felt that I could be myself in front of her. She didn't judge me for who I am. She just accepted that I was important to Richard and dealt with me as an important person on that basis.

I don't know what else to say.

Richard wants to spend the day with friends doing something fun. Usually he's quite a solitary person, but today he specifically requested company. So Tim and Peter are on their way over and we're going to drive down to the seaside. Tim lost his dad in a similar way last summer (I'm not sure if it was a heart attack or not, but he died suddenly without being ill first, and he wasn't that old either), so I'm hoping he might be able to comfort Richard a bit. They'll be here soon, so I need to stop writing now and pack up our swimming stuff and get some cold drinks from the fridge. I'll write more later.

P.S. Apparently Douglas Adams died yesterday too. BBC news. He was my favourite author when I was younger. I feel weird about that too.

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