Saying I recognise myself in an episode of a TV show always makes me feel like I’m going to crazy, but actually feeling that an episode has helped coping with things sounds even crazier.
Buffy’s ‘The Body‘ aired in 2001; about 21 months after my mum died after battling cancer for over three years.
The scene in which Buffy tells Dawn about it at the school mirrors the way my stepdad told me in far too many ways. That morning I had some drama at the school with nothing in particular and was actually considering skipping the rest of the school day. I was in class when my stepdad knocked on the door, stuck his head through and I went outside to spend the next few minutes crying in his arms. Of course what isn’t shown in the Buffy episode is how I then had to go back in, looking like I’d cried, tell my teacher what had happened before collecting my bag and leaving.
The scene in which everyone is waiting in the morgue combined with the boredom and not knowing what to do resembles the time it took my stepdad and me to get via public transport to another town where my mother had been moved to the day before.
The scene in which it is so quiet just after Buffy finds her mum reminds me so much of the moment my stepdad and I went to see the body in the hospital. Left alone in the room with her she looked so peaceful and just like she was sleeping. Not knowing what to do or what is appropriate I held her hand for a while and touched her arm which was so cold it is sending chills down my back nowadays.
The scene in which Willow is trying to find the right clothes before going over the Buffy’s house reminds me of the day of the funeral when I couldn’t figure out what to wear as everything seemed inappropriate. Opting for a black suitjacket and going to school beforehand made me feel hilariously overdressed.
Having to have everything sorted out and not recognising that my friends and other people would be grieving not only for my mum, but also for me is something that I only recognised as a result of watching this episode several times. And I have seen it many times now. And still cry several times at the above scenes.