Death, hope and love
I cried yesterday. I cried a lot. Now this isn’t exactly a rare occurrence. I cry a lot. But upon hearing the news about Fabrice Muamba yesterday I went cold and inexplicably cried – genuinely sobbed.
I don’t really understand it. I didn’t know the man, I’d never met him, I’d barely heard of him. But my reaction to the situation was exactly the same as the one I had after hearing about Gary Speed’s death. I’d never met Gary either.
So why did these two incidents have such a deep effect on me? Why don’t I have the same reaction to the daily reports of suffering and deaths on the news? People are dying all the time of famine, war, disease and natural disasters. Is it simply that the news is so packed with terrible stories of suffering and death that I’ve become desensitised to it? When I watch the news I’ve come to expect it to be full of stories that are just to awful to digest or maybe it’s that I simply can’t cope with the scale and extent of the death and suffering in the world that is happening every minute of every day so I switch off from it?
Why would I be so genuinely upset by the thought of a young man who I thought had died on a football pitch (and thank the Lord above he’s still hanging in there at the moment) and not upset about the thousands of others I hear about dying? I don’t know and in one sense I feel desperately guilty about it. Why should one person I don’t know have more impact on me than thousands of other people I don’t know?
But I think it’s because sport is at its essence is something that is inherently fun and full of hope and something that allows us to escape the shit filled world of suffering and death. It’s also the unexpected. We expect people to die when they’re very ill, we expect them to die in war situations, we expect them to die when there’s famine or disease. Of course, that doesn’t make them any less horrific or tragic.
Yesterday I said a prayer. I looked skywards and pleaded with God. I never pray – I’m pretty sure I don’t even believe in God. I’m sure plenty of people who got #prayforMuamba trending on twitter don’t believe in him either but in times of desperation and hopelessness maybe we long for something, something to do and sometimes all we are left with is an almost certainly futile plea to the skies.
But in amongst all the sadness (and I feel plenty of that today with it being Mother’s day and I miss mine terribly) the tangible levels of love and humanity we saw yesterday give me a great sense of hope. People’s capacity to love, care and genuinely just give a fuck is real and tangible. Whilst it would clearly be better if I (and I guess others) could give more of a fuck about everyone who’s suffering and dying maybe the outpouring of concern and genuine sorrow from all parts after yesterday’s events at WHL were just a window on the fact that most of us do care.
The world isn’t that bad if there’s love.
I apologise for this potentially over the top and almost certainly incoherent rambling – It’s Mother’s day today. I lost mine several years ago to Breast Cancer. I miss her every single day. Every single day without fail but my God I am honoured she was my mum.
here’s a link to something that was written in the paper after she died. I was so proud of her once I was old enough to realise she was more than just my mum and I should have told her that http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/city_academic_leader_loses_cancer_battle_1_322513
But enough of this (I blame hormones – who invented them anyway?) . Sport continues in all its gloriousness. Torres has scored, Downing has scored, India have chased down 330 and Virat Kohli has given us a masterclass. It’s all rather warming isn’t it.