It Is Not Funny

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

Click to visit the Siren Stories website and read more work by J.J. Barnes and check out her latest novels.

A twenty five year old woman has just died. She was a mother to two sons, a much loved wife, a treasured daughter, an adored sister, and a valued friend. She has died and left a family and those who loved her grieving. She has left her two sons without their mummy.

There’s not much I know about how or why she has died, but this is something I do know. Her death is NOT funny. But people are making jokes.

This should be shocking, that despite the fact this woman died today, that her family are grieving today, that jokes are surfacing today. It happened TODAY.

Until you realise this woman was a celebrity. She was born to famous parents, she worked in the media from the age of fifteen, and she married a rock star. She was Peaches Geldof. So, automatically, this seems to make her fair game. This makes her death, and her family’s loss, public property. Once something is public property the public, the good and the bad, can do with it what they will. And they will laugh.

Her sons are both around the same age as Miss Rose. Obviously I don’t know her sons, but I know my daughter, and I know children of this age. Mummy. That is a person who children this age rely on, who they need. Mummy is the source of all good things. Mummy is safety and warmth and help and security. Mummy is there.

Their mummy isn’t there, their mummy has gone. Those two little boys are going to have to get through the crying out for their mummy when she has no hope of coming, and their poor father will be the one who has to explain it to them over and over and over and over. Mummy can’t come, mummy loved you, but mummy’s gone.

A father who’s wife, Peaches’ mother, died so young, has now lost his daughter. For a parent to outlive their child is utterly unnatural. Children bury parents, children continue the family as adults themselves. I know she was a grown woman but she was still his child. I am 28, a similar age, and I know that if my mother had to contend with burying me she would be utterly inconsolable. His baby girl has died.

This situation is NOT funny. It is a tragedy. Many will point out that mother’s die, young women die, children die. It happens every day and these losses are all devastating and tragic, yet this woman’s death garners media attention and public mourning as though it were special or different. Around the world other young women have died this exact same day leaving their families in the exact same way. They are not worth more, they are not worth less. But they will not be subjected to the humiliation that this family will. They will not have jokes made at their expense, their lives raked over and their flaws highlighted. They will not have people globally suggesting all manner of sordid ways they may have died. Their deaths will not become public property, not be used for entertainment value. Their deaths will be grieved and treated with respect. In her death we see our own, we see what we would leave behind and the suffering our families would feel. We imagine ourselves never seeing our babies grow. We grieve our own possible loss, our own possible pain, via her death and their pain. I truly hope that my death, whenever it happens, will not be given the same treatment that hers will receive.

May we remember this. When you see this family grieving, think how your family would feel. Think how children feel losing a parent, think how you would feel to lose a friend. It is NOT funny.

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

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