It’s the end of April 2020, we live in the UK and nothing makes any sense.
Death is the reason nothing makes sense. Which in a way is reassuring because death has never made any sense, and at least it’s is one of those things that we all have to put up with at some point in one way or another.
A great equalizer, even though it really isn’t.
Because sometimes people die and it’s sad. And sometimes they die and it’s tragic. And the deaths that are tragic alway beat the ones that are just sad. The COVID-19 outbreak has forced humans to face up to this uncomfortable dichotomy between a sad and a tragic death.
Old people and sick people, their deaths are sad. But they are also mostly unremarkable (unless you are Eddie Large, who was both old and sick, but by all accounts was also a jolly fine fellow who deserves a better send-off).
Young people, exceptional people, brave people, their deaths are tragic. Gone too soon, a great loss, a hero. All true. All sad. But also tragic, and therefore more remarkable.
So when faced with dealing with the sad death of a loved one, one is forced to contrast it with the feelings of those who are suffering the double hurt of great sadness and horrific tragedy. And there’s a lot of it about with COVID-19 – Rebecca, a talented young nurse; Shabnum, a mum of 5; Joanna, a Polish domestic supervisor – say their names, make them known, be saddened and horrified for they should not have died, not now… yet they did. No big funerals. No grand send offs. Just rivers of cold sorrow with nowhere to go.
When viewed from a distance, the sad deaths are background noise to all this tragedy. Indeed, there’s a temptation to be somehow relieved that the loved one did not succumb to a tragic death, suffered alone. That those greiving with simple sadness should somehow be… grateful? But close up, that’s really not how it works. Background noise is still noise. To some extent it can be drowned out, but it continues regardless.
This all just context really. We are all scared, lonely, anxious, bored, sad, [insert adjective here]. And what we do at times like this is reach out and connect. The hope that we will leave our mark in some small, kind way is what keeps a lot of us going, and Knitwitter is one way that we (Wisterlitz) will connect and reach out to enable you (humans everywhere) to reach out some more, and together we’ll leave our mark.