This afternoon, after a crazy morning, I decided to take the kids down, with the maid and Madam Milly, to the common area for them to work their legs a little and for me to just relax.

After a while, the lady who ran the saloon came over to tell us that a neighbour of ours had passed away from ovarian cancer. She was only 52.

I’d known Wendy only passingly. She co-owned the restaurant downstairs, where I had Raeven’s third birthday party. I always had the impression that she was a nice, church-going lady. My mother had line-dancing classes with her. Didn’t even know she was wearing a wig all this while (because of all the chemo), and that her cancer had relapsed.

I used to obsess over death, especially when it afflicts those I know, no matter how passingly. Today, I realised that I have hardened somewhat. I no longer feel the intense need to cry for the inevitable tragedy that is promised to all of us from the day we are born. I used to shed many a tear for those left behind as well. Today, I was oddly calm.

I know it’s not a good thing. But it has happened. This lady is now the third person I know, lost to cancer in the last five years. I have become jaded with disease and death.

As jaded as I was, I was not prepared for what Madam Milly, who was NOT jaded at all, had to say. Which was totally inappropriate, to say the least. The saloon lady WAS a close friend of Wendy’s.

“Her husband is still young and handsome. Can’t expect him to remain single…”

Yea, I know. Not sure if she even knows that they were close, and how insensitive that was.

The lady was just buried yesterday for God’s sake.

 

Just hope this kind of apathy is not genetic.