And then the truck hit me.


The day started like any other. Mr. Woog, whose doctor has asked him to lose five kilo’s, was pulling on a pair of jeans at the end of the bed when he went into full panic mode.

“Oh my god! These jeans have shrunk so much!” and he started furiously trying to pull them up. I hadn’t noticed that he had put any weight on, so I suggested that he checked and yes, these jeans were Horatio’s. Panic subsided and we both had a giggle.

Breakfasts were doled out and lunches were made. With everyone done and dusted, I pulled on my pants of power and it was off to Zumba class I went, with my dancing partner Mrs. Goodman. We got to the hall a little late, and the class had started. This class is mainly ladies who are more mature. We come in all shapes and sizes and nationalities. There is one older gentleman as well, I think he is there on the pull. He has good odds. He looked familiar to me…

“She’s up all night to the sun
I’m up all night to get some
She’s up all night for good fun
I’m up all night to get lucky”
Anyway, me and the gang began to get our groove on. The song that made me laugh was Daft Punk’s “Up all night to get lucky”, and I thought it was even more funny that the best song was Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s get us on.” There we were, working in between the two actions of either shimmering or shuffling, whatever your joints would allow you to do.

Then, out of the corner of my eye I saw John, my step Dad. Except it wasn’t him. It was the reflection of the man in the mirror, at an angle that made him look like a doppelgänger for John. It wasn’t John because John died four months ago.

And then the truck hit me.

You know that feeling that you get when you suddenly about to burst into tears? First, your eyes get really prickly and in my case, my glasses start to fog up.
“You know it’s all about the base, bout the base, not treble….”

Then your eyeballs fill up with tears to the point that they start sliding down your face. Your nose is running and your glasses are so foggy that you just can’t see. And you are standing in the middle of a draughty hall while elegant ladies in their seventies shake their behinds along with one bloke who has totally spooked you.

“I’m bringing booty back
Go ‘head and tell them skinny bitches that
No, I’m just playing, I know you think you’re fat
But I’m here to tell you…
Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top”

And so you flee…

Mrs. Goodman chases you into the hallway and asks “What’s wrong?” and in between sobs you tell her. She hold you and tells you a bit about random grief until you calm down enough to re-join the class. By this stage, we are doing the cool down.

“When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand, stand by me..”

I am not sure our society does death well. I was in the canteen the other week, making new friends as I do, when one of the mums told me that she had recently lost her own Mum. I told her about John and we both started getting teary. So we hugged a bit and had a weep, much to the horror of the canteen manager who told us that that was enough and to “Think happy thoughts!” Helpful stuff. Why are we uncomfortable with grief?

I know for our family we are still at the really painful end. And I know that with time, the sad memory of his passing will be replaced with the happy memories of his living. But when, computer? When will this happen? I would really like to know.

Ironically, there is no way John would have ever gone to a Zumba class….