After the stroke I spent a lot of time living in a dream world. I mean, I was obviously up and interacting with people, but nothing really felt “real”. Very slowly, everything feels a bit more lifelike, although the healing day-by-day has been imperceptible. The funny thing is that t know for sure that there has never been a time when I have felt “out of it”, and yet I feel so much more “awake” now.
I put this effect down to the stroke, but quickly observed that other people could feel this effect even having not had a stroke. I met people who’d had had heart attacks or cancer, say. So not just limited to stroke.
The other day, I saw on tv Stephen Lawrence’s dad. I think it was his dad, I was only really half-watching. Stephen Lawrence was a black British teenager who was murdered at a bus stop in 1993. It was an infamous event in the UK, purely because it seemed to be motivated purely because the guy was black. Wikipedia has an account – I like Wikipedia because its content tends to err more toward the objective rather than the sensational. If ou prefer more subjective accounts, the story must have been covered many times by every newspaper.
Anyway, my ears pricked up when this chap (being interviewed) used words that were very similar to what I’d felt, “living in a dream” etc. It really was quite spooky.
So it made me wonder about the common thread. This guy described a process following the death that was eerily like what I’d felt following the stroke. So if you’re looking for the common ground, I can only assume that it must be no more scientific than the trauma of the experience.
I suppose the other common thing is the aspect of time. I’ve spent an awful lot of time thinking about the stroke, and presumably. by now, this other chap must have given thousands of interviews about every aspect of his son’s death, so presumably he has spent ages being forced to try and articulate his every feeling. And he’ll have become better at it over time – we all do. But that process would explain why we’re both able to describe our respective experiences, not really why we’d use the same words.