The Rant That Never Was!

In this post, Derek discovers that something he saw was not what it appeared to be and he learnt a valuable lesson in the process!

Yesterday should have been a really enjoyable day. In many respects, it was. Yesterday I and my wife celebrated our thirty-first wedding anniversary.

We were sitting in our living room last evening – I was reading a book and my wife was was watching television. More specifically she was watching a ‘soap’ called ‘Coronation Street.’*

It was near the end of that programme that I slowly became aware of a woman crying and screaming. I looked up from the book and my attention began to focus on a hospital scene. In the scene the woman who had just given birth was completely distraught and being comforted by her shocked-looking husband.

Then there were the ‘medical personnel’ who entered the scene as the camera cut away to what I assumed to be the midwife. She was holding a baby, wrapped up in a white hospital blanket. She turned to the woman in the bed and asked “do you want to hold him?”

It was in that moment that my heart sank; that I began to fill with dread as the realisation began to dawn on me what it was that I was seeing: the fictional death of a new-born child and its consequences.

I couldn’t believe it. Words like ‘disgraceful’, ‘insensitive’, ‘thoughtless’, ‘heartless’ formed my initial reaction which was made worse by the continuity announcer offering to the viewers, as the credits rolled: “If you have been affected by this scene…” And so on.

I was utterly appalled. I looked over at my wife and could not even begin to wonder what she must have been thinking or how she was feeling. I know in that moment I felt deeply sorry for her.

But I was more than appalled. I was angry.

So of course I trailed my ‘soap-box’ out, grabbed my rant gun, loaded it with “7.62 millimeter, full metal jacket” rants, sighted the target…

And prepared to fire!

BLAM!! Did ITV that made this programme actually think that it did some sort of ‘service’ by showing this?

BLAM!! Did they honestly believe that tagging an “If you have been affected…” notice onto the end of the programme would somehow justify their actions or mitigate the damage?

BLAM!! They were trivialising a devastating tragedy for the sake of mere ‘entertainment!’

BLAM!! And that actress, Kym Marsh, how could she possibly portray someone who has lost a child? What does she know??

BLAM!! I suppose that ITV’s researchers were tripping over themselves to fill the actress’ head with notions about how they thought she should act the scene!

BLAM!! And the ITV executives… don’t get me started! I bet that they were slavering, rubbing their hands with glee over the revenues it would generate.

BLAM!! Oh, and let’s not forget that they would have their eye on the National Television Awards too!!

BLAM!! They are completely deluding themselves! How dare they!? HOW DARE THEY!?

Yes. I had them all in the cross-hairs, ready to take them down with my well-aimed rants!

It was just then that a wee voice inside me I wondered what they were saying about it on the internet. Out of curiosity, I googled ‘Coronation Street baby death’ and waited as the browser page filled with results.

And it was at that point that I said a small prayer of thanks that I hadn’t gone ahead and published my so-called rant because my eyes fell upon this headline:

“Coronation Street star Kym Marsh on Michelle’s baby loss tragedy – “I wanted to honour my own son””

I stopped dead. Surely it could not possibly be?

But it was: the actress that portrayed the grieving mother so effectively, in real life had been bereft of her own son.

Suddenly, as I read the article it struck me how pointless and futile my ‘rant’ had become. In that moment my heart went out to her as it brought back to me something that I had realised a long time ago…

That I could never, ever know what it was like for a mother to lose her child; that mothers are very special people who have a bond with their children that transcends the physical: an unbreakable bond that enables a mother to ‘know’ her child so naturally in a way that fathers can only learn; that a mother and her child is truly a unique and special relationship, too precious not to hold on to: it is one of the great mysteries of life.

I will never, ever know how Kym Marsh felt as she once againwent through the agonies of losing a child nor how my wife felt as she watched those dreadful scenes unfold.

It was a truly convincing performance, but one that came at a horrendous price.

Further Reading:
You can read the whole article by following this link: “I wanted to honour my own son.” Radio Times.

* Coronation Street @ Wikipedia.

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