I’ve been in a bit of a fog for the last six months. I still can’t believe that Chap has shuffled off the mortal coil and how it has hit me much harder than I thought it would.
The language of death is a funny old thing. “Losing”, for example, has connotations of carelessness and being preventable, as if we lost him down the back of the sofa. Awful as the word ‘losing’ is, it is infinitely preferable to some of the other words I’ve heard. The hushly-spoken authorities favour “passing”, but that sounds like something a medium would say after gazing into her crystal ball to make contact with the spirit world. And “deceased”, as used by the harshly-spoken authorities, just makes me shudder. Particularly when companies actually write to him and start the letter “Dear Mr B, deceased”. FFS – get a Ouija board, it’s the only way you’re going to get a reply.
They say that the three biggest stress factors are death, divorce and moving house. We managed all three within a space of four months, although thankfully, the divorce was not me and MisterMac, but us and Europe. I’m now gradually emerging from the fog, and stroking my camera again. I’m also taking tentative steps back into the world of social media and technology. In the haze of paperwork and signing forms that I didn’t read properly when I registered Chap’s death, I think I forgot to uncheck the box that said:
“By checking this box, you give us permission to share your details with any predator who is prepared to pay for them, in order that they can bombard you via social media, email, SMS and junk mail about life-insurance, funeral-planning, health-care and house-clearance. We endeavour to share your details with only companies who will prey on your vulnerability and intrude on your grief.”
Photography suddenly became so meaningless and trivial, with one exception – my old photo albums, haphazardly stuffed with out of focus, technically appalling, but wonderfully happy, snapshots. I intend to scan an album of my favourites over the next few months, but here are two to be going on with. Most of my favourites were taken in Vienna, “with its Strauss music, its glamour and its easy charm”. Yep, that was Chap.