Post-bereavement hallucinations

Several years ago know, a friend named Rebecca passed away. We’d been close in high school and kept in touch sporadically over the years. The last time we met up, she was hopeful about her treatment and planning to fight off the illness that had invaded her body. We sat in a busy cafe in the middle of Newtown, drinking coffee and giggling over what idiots we’d been in high school. She told me about her more recent travels, I probably bored the pants off her with stories of my kids. A few months later, she was gone.

A few weeks later, bustling through the city, I saw her. Wearing a black checkered shirt over a singlet, she dipped her face down behind her hand, lighting a cigarette. She looked up and met my eye as I stepped towards her, my mouth already forming her name. When I blinked, Bec’s face was gone. It wasn’t her, just someone with only a passing resemblance.

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The loss of a pet

I wrote this last Wednesday night, the night before we took our lovely cat to the vet to be put to sleep. The grief and depth of emotion that comes with the loss of a pet sometimes isn’t taken all that seriously. For example, I could take a day off work to attend the funeral of a distant relative and no one would bat an eyelid. Time off to care for pets or to grieve them, however, is often not accepted. It doesn’t seem to matter that they were a part of your life every single day, often for many years.

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“Merry Christmas”, Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, was first released on November 1st, 1994. It is 39 minutes and 31 seconds of pure “contemporary holiday” music featuring “authentic, gospel flavoured background vocals”, if you wanted to know.  Carey sings traditional holiday songs, religious songs and even a few original Christmas tunes of her own, like “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, which is apparently the 11th best selling single of all time. Yes, out of all the songs in the world, ever. The album itself was sold over 15 million copies word wide and is the best selling Christmas album ever.

I know, I know. I am just as shocked as you. My money was on the 1981 spectacular ‘A Chipmunk Christmas’ that I had on cassette as a child. The dulcet tones of Alvin, Simon and Theodore screeched Christmas at me in a way no other ever has.

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