So, death is a funny thing. It’s an end, yes, but it can sometimes bring new beginnings. It’s one door closing, but many windows opening, to borrow from an old saying.
Some time a week or two ago, at some point in the middle of the night (it’s all such a blur now) a police officer came to our door and informed us that the wife’s ex-husband, the boy’s father, had passed away. I won’t go into details surrounding his death, nor will I say anything unpleasant about him here, but I will say that this was an especially awkward situation for the wife for a few reasons. One being that, due to his personality and why they broke up so many years ago in the first place, he had already been dead to her for a very long time. And two, he had pretty much disappeared since I entered the picture five or so years ago. Because of this, and lack of the necessary funds, the wife and he had never finalized their divorce. Which meant that all legal thingamajiggers, including handling the body, the funeral, and recirculating any assets he may have had, fell solely to the wife.
We told the boy as soon as we found out. His reaction was an expected one, one of sadness and confusion. When asked point blank about it, his response is “I’m sad that he died, but it is hard to feel sorry for someone you’ve had absolutely no contact with for almost seven years.”
He will be okay. He may not be completely okay right now, but in time, he will be. He is able to talk about it, he is able to laugh about things that are funny and cry about things that are sad. He is able to go and visit friends and he is able to eat more food than I have ever seen a teenager eat in my life. Therefore, as the saying goes, life will go on.
As I said before, death has a funny way of opening new paths in the lives of those it affects. An example of this is that we now know that the boy’s father has another son, the age of three, making the boy a big brother. The feelings following this discovery were ones of surprise, joy, and ultimately, honestly, anger at not being informed of it sooner. This has resulted in us keeping contact with the boy’s extended family, which is going to extend even further soon, as the ex-husband’s girlfriend is also pregnant with another child.
These were wonderful, and much needed, bits of good news spread within a very long stretch of odd and unfamiliar things. We paid for cremation, they (his family) paid for the gathering of friends and family. Many phone calls were made, many papers were signed, many questions were both asked and answered. I could do little but watch, offer what little advice I could, and rub her back as she spoke on the phone about the death of a man long since dead in her eyes.
Then, the day before the funeral, our car also met a final end. Seeing as the funeral was taking place a three hour drive away, and the only replacement car we could afford was a very old one that even the previous owner warned us against taking on such a long journey, we were forced to miss it. The boy took it very hard, but he also took it very maturely, as he acknowledged that “these things happen” and “it’s no one’s fault”. It killed us both to not be able to give him that closure, but he’s done a few small things on his own, like lighting a candle in his room and saying a prayer for his father, talking to us and his friends about the situation. There are times I still worry about him, but I know in my heart he’ll be fine.
During this time, I was also diagnosed with an infection in both ears and a “severe” chest infection.
In the end, it was the wife’s ability to separate herself from everything emotionally, as the the one with the most emotional distance between herself and the ex, that helped her handle everything with a cool head and get through the barrage of phone calls, paper signing, etc. unscathed.
All of that is now behind us, but still lingers in our minds and bank account.
I’ll end this part of the entry now, as I’d like to move on to some happier things, with the two good things to come of this whole unfortunate situation: The boy has a brother, along with another brother or sister on the way, and is now connected to his previously-estranged extended family. And now the wife and I are finally free to get married, thus making the wife… Well, my wife. Legally and stuff.
These are good things and they are the things we are holding on to. We’re letting go of everything else.
Right. Happier things. Erm… Give me a moment.
Oh! I have a six pack of Guinness in my fridge. This is a happy thing (for me).
Also, we spent yesterday seeing Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (which was the perfect film and everyone should go see it immediately and why oh god why is it not making more money?), then having ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery for the first time. Overall, the ice cream was insanely good, but very overpriced.
Watched a movie called War Wolves last night. It was tremendously awful. Why is it so hard to get a werewolf movie “right”? I’ve seen plenty of independent vampire films that have been just on the upside of decent, even some that were just short of great. The same can be said for zombie movies. For every decent/good modestly budgeted vampire or zombie movie out there, there are literally hundreds (at least) that are truly awful, that is to be certain. But it seems like the werewolf is a twice doomed creature, for it is doomed once with the curse of lycanthropy and once again with the fate of having a very long streak of terrible, terrible films about it.
We know good werewolf films are possible. Look at An American Werewolf in London, which is held by many to be the standard in werewolf films. Look at Ginger Snaps, an independent Canadian offering that puts such a unique and interesting spin on the werewolf legend that you forgive the odd creature design (though I happened to enjoy it). Or Dog Soldiers, which was both very brilliant and rather cheap. Hell, even the original 1941 film The Wolfman, starring Lon Chaney Jr. It perfectly encapsulates werewolf lore, and as dated as it may seem, still holds up rather well on repeat viewings.
So why are good werewolf movies so few and far between?
That was a bit of a rant, sorry.
I’m being told I need to bike up to the store for cigarettes and coffee (so European!), so I should wrap this up.
I leave you with this:
It’s a shirt, it’s for sale, and you should buy it immediately.