I love Game of Thrones. Your probably wondering what that has to do with anything, after all this isn’t a blog of reviews but season seven was epic. I remember watching it last year and my favourite moment had to of been when Emilia Clarke flew Drogon into battle for the first time. Absolutely epic. I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. I remember being so excited to see the next episode the following week. The next episode aired on Monday the 14th of August. That was the date that life as I knew it changed forever. That was the date my mother died.
I remember that day as though it really did happen yesterday. I left for work that morning from his house (he who must not be named, but everyone who knows me knows his name – this is a polite courtesy for strangers) at the same time I always would. I wore a grey short sleeved jumper with black polka dots on, black trousers and black sandals. My handbag at the time was pale pink and I wore my hair up in a pony tail. It was a very average Monday and I hadn’t spoke to my mam since Friday. I hadn’t needed to.
I remember getting the phonecall. It was exactly 8.17pm. It was from my sister. My youngest sister. My sister who had just become a mother herself six weeks previously. My sister who was crying so when I answered I inwardly rolled my eyes. Not again I thought, not another argument. You see we hadn’t all been seeing eye to eye my sister’s and I not with each other but with my mam. When she told me over the phone the had died I swear I stopped breathing.
I had always been scared of drowning. Where water would slowly fill your lungs and panic would set in as you try and gasp for air. Hearing your own heart beat frantically and then slow into eventually nothing at all. I always imagined it a terribly slow and painful way to die (no she didn’t drown by the way).
Well this one phonecall was worse.
This is where the shock comes in. Shock is a wonderful thing, it keeps you safe for a while. Well for me it did. I remember hanging up the phone and composing myself rather quickly, I didn’t want the attention, I didn’t want people to worry. I felt like I floated out of the building, in a blur or in a trance but my phone was against my ear again before I knew it. I had to tell him. Before I did anything else, I had to tell him.
I got a lift home from one of the girls at work. Apparently I did draw attention to myself after all. It was nice of her though to come after me and she knew my mam as well which was an unhappy coincidence as she didn’t actually know what the problem was so I had to tell her. It was the third time in the space of fifteen minutes I had said the words “my mam has died” and it honestly felt like nothing at all. See? Shock is a wonderful thing. And I carried a conversation all the way home too. I’m full of surprises.
Home. Different story all together. I started to remember that as soon as I walked through that front door, a front door that was once hers, that everything would change. Then I thought – hang on! Obviously they’ve got it wrong. It must not be her. Things like this don’t happen to a families like mine. There has been a mistake. So I walked in and sat down and listened to what they knew so far. I didn’t cry, well I don’t think I did. My sister’s were crying but I don’t think I did at this point. I was listening to see if they had it right. I kept looking at the photograph of her on the window sill, waiting. Until eventually I asked “are you sure?” “I can give her a ring you know, to make sure?” They looked at me strangely. A look I now know so well. A look of pity. She answered me “yes” she said, they were sure.
Then he was there. I could see the worry in his face. Behind his eyes, and I felt awful. I felt bad for making him worry. But I was so glad he was there. I felt safe even with him just standing slightly behind me, I could sort of tell he didn’t want to feel intrusive. I think I remember him holding my hand. I don’t really remember the little details as much. My dad was here by this point as well, it was really strange seeing him in my mam’s house. A house they had never shared and now here he was in her living room hugging my sister.
Eventually they left. It all of a sudden felt really late. But I wasn’t tired. I was far from it. It was just the five of us now and the baby. My six week old nephew who will now never get to know his Grandma. I needed to smoke a cigarette badly. I needed a glass of wine badly. So that’s what I did. After hearing the worst news of my life I sent my dad to the shop for a bottle of Rose and then I stood outside and smoked a cigarette.
Then I remembered it was Monday. I was missing Game of Thrones. So I told him so. One of the first things I said to him after my mam died was that I was upset to be missing Game of Thrones. I then continued to tell him about the previous week’s episode. The episode where Drogon was flew into battle. I remember he didn’t look at me oddly, I think he just understood it. I think he even asked me if I wanted to put it on but I said no… I didn’t want to be disturbed while watching it. Or something like that.
My point is, shock is wonderful for a short time. It protects you. It made missing Game of Thrones more upsetting than the real reality of the situation. And for a few hours that’s what I needed. I needed to pretend that it was just a normal Monday, and the most important thing on a Monday at that time for me was Game of Thrones.
A little while after 4.30am I went to bed. I was hoping drinking the wine meant I would find sleep easily. I didn’t. I could feel this hole opening in my chest, like someone was ripping me open from the stomach upwards. I felt as though I was literally being torn apart. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t speak, my whole body was shaking with the agony of what I was feeling. He held me and I think he may of even cried with me. I don’t know how long I lay there shaking with every cry that passed through me but it felt an awfully long time and he never let me go. In the end, when I eventually got my breath steady he said we should watch Game of Thrones but not the new episode, the old ones. From the beginning. He knew me so well, he made out he wanted to watch them from the start before catching up. He made it seem as though I was doing a nice thing by him to agree to watch them all over again, really he was using it as a distraction before I went to sleep. It meant I could watch Game of Thrones like every other Monday night but not have to concentrate too much because I had seen them all before. It was all for my benefit. It was all for me to fall asleep just listening…
Thanks for reading x