Many people who go through traumatic experience spend years afterwards avoiding reminders of it. After Jenny’s death, I wouldn’t for example want to watch a screen adaptation of Great Expectations, as I’d be anticipating Miss Havisham’s clothes going up in flames.
The trouble is, reminders of shocking events crop up in the dullest of places. Queue that staple of early evening television, Coronation Street, which my friends were anxious to record as they’re avid followers. I’d gone round there for dinner and we were chatting on the sofa in front of the telly, its volume turned down. They were messing with the channels trying to make sure they were recording Corrie when they realised dramatic events were unfolding.
No need to go into detail but it culminated in Anna Windass being on fire. Had Jenny not died in a similar way, I could imagine just rolling my eyes at this ratings seeking stunt. As it was, I sat in silence, repelled but not drawing attention to my thoughts. As with most of my friendships formed in the years after Jen’s death, I hadn’t told them her story, and they remained unaware of my private angst on their sofa.
I suppose it’s no different to the sort of experience shared by many I guess, for a myriad of unspoken memories.