Wednesday, 10 April 2013
I've been dealing with some "stuff" over the last few days, and as a result have been struggling to write blog posts in spite of the fact that I have a whole list of things I want to tell you about. all those photos from Orkney, the Rugby boys have won their league AND are through to the cup- final, and I want to plan some more "Hebrides Countdown" posts and get a Frugal Friday or two planned, but none of those things would come simply because other "stuff" was blocking the thought processes.
A friend of mine attempted to commit suicide in the early hours of the morning on Sunday. He's not a close friend, but is someone I have known vaguely for years and years, see about and chat with on a semi-regular basis, and keep in contact with via the internet. The internet - and social media networks specifically - are great for that. Keeping in contact with the folks that otherwise, you might not, that "Hiya, how's things" type contact. It's not very good at seeing when there is really a problem though - there are so many "woe is me" type posts appearing, so many people saying things, or sometimes quite deliberately NOT saying things, to beg for attention. And mostly, it's just that - attention seeking. Sometimes, as a result of all that though, a genuine cry for help gets missed. We look at someone's posts and think "Hmmm - hope they are OK - I'll check back later" and then forget, or, as in this case, by the time we DO check back, we find that the person has done something that (hopefully) they will regret, and are being treated accordingly.
The death of Baroness Thatcher on Monday wasn't entirely unexpected, and neither was the fact that certain people had no real feelings of sadness on hearing the news. she was a strong, opinionated lady, who fought fiercely for her beliefs, and to make what she wanted of her life. Such people always meet with opposition. What was shocking however was the torrent of vitriol poured out on FaceBook, Twitter and elsewhere. This is not a political comment - I don't DO politics publicly - my personal political beliefs are just that, personal, and I won't be sharing them here (or anywhere else). I'd ask that anyone commenting on this post respects that also - I will remove any comments which are a political rant, or are rude, abusive, or inconsiderate of the fact that, at the end of the day, she was a Mother, a Grandmother, possibly an Auntie too, I don't know. Her family are feeling right now just the same as you will (or possibly did) when your Mother, Grandmother, Sister or Auntie passes away - and seeing people (Some of whom were not even ALIVE when she was in power!) claiming to be "drinking a glass of bubbly" or "throwing a party" must have been unbelievably hard. Add to that the fact that they now have to go through a very public ceremonial funeral, and this time must be truly awful for them. I suspect when I lose my Mum I will want to curl up in a corner, hide away from the world and not come out for a VERY long while, and Carol may well be feeling that way now, but instead she has TV cameras trained on her, and will have her every move watched as she says her final farewells to her Mother. She didn't choose her Mother's career, nor does she bear any responsibility for the decisions made during that career, and so at the very least deserves a little dignity and respect now. Treat people as you would wish to be treated, is often said, and this rings very true. I can think of little worse than, whilst in the midst of a deep personal tragedy, to see others glorying in it. To that I will add - if you can't think of something nice (or at the least respectful) to say, then please, on this blog, and on my personal FaceBook page, and directly addressed to me ANYWHERE, in fact - then kindly keep your gob shut. :-)
As I said, stuff has been occurring elsewhere also. I won't go into detail, but suffice to be said, it pales into insignificance when compared to what others are dealing with. It brings home also an element of self-awareness I think - I've found myself thinking was there anything I could have done in relation to my friend's situation - the answer, no, probably not. I did correspond with him the day before with an effort at support, but being many miles away rather than there with the person, this isn't always easy. Being a "grown Up" can be tough, taking responsibility for our actions even harder, but I believe that we all owe it to ourselves to stop, think, take responsbility, and then, if appropriate, take the toughest step of all - to stick our heads above the parapet and say "I believe this is wrong". Thatcher proved beyond doubt that standing up for your beliefs can make you unpopular, but at the very least when your time comes, you can rest easy with your own conscience. And in the grand cycle of life & death, most of the other stuff isn't really very important, is it?