There comes a point in life when funerals start to outnumber weddings. A recent death in the family is, I think, the point in my life when that begins to become true.
The evening when I heard the news was strange. It was too late in the day to get a train to go to my family and so I was rattling around in my flat, not knowing what to do. I needed some background noise to distract myself, and I returned to the first story (eps 1-3) of Camouflage.
The story is about how a woman deals with the sudden death of her boyfriend. It’s always been a favourite, and this time it seemed especially appropriate and comforting. That evening I watched it all the way through twice.
Episode three especially caught my attention. In this her cat turns into a middle aged man. She is appalled about how un-catlike he is in human form, and somewhat surprised about his simple way of thinking. While cat owners like to think of their pets as enigmatic and wise, this episode portrays them as a bit frumpy and dumb.
It’s touching and funny, especially her appalled reactions to the cat/old man who she used to pet and cuddle. But despite this, they start talking and as they do, he shows how his owner can overcome her grieving.
Strictly speaking, the episode is just a story written by the boyfriend who dies in episode one so it never really happens, but the meaning is clear: it’s okay to go for a day without recalling their memory - that doesn't make you a bad person. It’s a sweet little tale, and is (as I’ve said before) my most-watched piece of drama. It never gets old and, as I move through life, it seems to teach me something new every time.