09 January 2022

The Catalyst

I have found it very hard to cry since Greg died. Part of the reason is that the last six years of our marriage was very traumatic.  Greg's drinking was on such an astronomical scale that my life was like a living a nightmare, so when Greg died, the nightmare stopped and it was a relief. I could breathe again, never more to be afraid of what I might find in the morning or even whether there would be a morning at all, if a cigarette fell from his drunken hand in the night and caused a blaze. There have been occasions when I have been close to crying with wistful thoughts of what might have been if he had lived and been sober. I have often played out what retirement would have looked like together, if we had had the chance, but then reality has dragged me back into the real world and I know, if he had survived the tumultuous symptoms building up all over his body, our relationship would not have survived intact. 

There have been so many times when I wished he could be here to witness what it going on in the world. As a news journalist for the BBC World Service, he was always interested in world events and we would have had long conversations about Trump, Boris, Covid, Afghanistan, Syria, even the Lib-Con coalition in 2010. He has missed all that and there are times I want to tell him all about it, but still I have not cried.

This weekend, Kay and her boyfriend have been visiting me. After supper last night we put on a film I had recorded from the TV over Christmas. It was A Star is Born - the 2018 version with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. Filmwise I have lived in a sort of bubble for decades. I have seen a few  films, but many have passed me by as my hearing is not great without subtitles, so I tend not to go to the cinema and often haven't the stamina to sit through one at home. Anyway, it's not much fun watching a film on your own. I must also confess that I hadn't thought much up to now of Lady Gaga either, but then, if truth be told, I had only heard a few of her songs which seemed as crazy as her dress sense. I also knew A Star is Born was a remake of an earlier film in 1976, but I had never seen that one either.

So we settled down to watch it last night and by the end of it, I was blubbering like a baby. For those who haven't seen it, it featured an alcoholic whose musical career hits the buffers at the same time as a girl, whom he helps musically and falls in love with,  rises to fame. I tried throughout the film to hang on to myself, but the closing song (I'll Never Love Again), played as he dies, completely destroyed me and I fell to pieces. Kay insisted I watch another film for light relief, so we watched Paddington which was the complete opposite and made us laugh. However, in the night and again when I woke this morning, A Star is Born was on my mind. I have to say, too, that it completely changed my mind about Lady Gaga. Her acting was impressive and her voice on the songs was amazing.  And it was the catalyst to make me cry.