I don’t know about anyone else, but yesterday, I watched the last three Eastenders episodes on BBC Iplayer in one go and felt like a right nutcase afterwards.
After avoiding Eastenders when the baby saga was on, I had decided not to watch it any more at all, but I couldn’t resist with the news of the death of Pat Butcher coming up. I think it must be some kind of morbidly fascinating compulsion to see such a hugely liked character leaving a show after so long.
Right from the moment that the doctor told her she had cancer, I blubbed. Chest heaving, racking sobs that threatened to spill over and out into real life. Two boys were on the couch opposite me, so I swallowed my pathetically weak constitution as I watched the end emerge.
Moving from the ridiculous to the farcical with Pat being left alone with so many people in the house, and almost total strangers walking into her room unheeded made no difference. Pam St Clements did a fantastic job of acting and I could really imagine that it was someone on that bed, who was indeed breathing their last few breaths.
Perhaps it was the hark back to the night and the day that my mother in law died. She was a woman taken far too soon with bowel cancer which had spread enormously.
Perhaps it was the similarity in how she lay down, unable to make herself fully articulate to those who were looking on.
Ok, the end came quick for Pat Butcher, in the way that it didn’t for my MIL. Her body laboured on for about 12 hours after her brain seemed to leave us.
The last scenes with Janine and with David. Well overdramaticised exaggeration, but that made no difference – I could feel the heaving in my throat as I fought back the tears while I kept watching, transfixed by the way it all unravelled.
A couple of little tears slipped down out of the corner of my eye, and littlest spotted them as he moved over beside me. “Stop being so silly”, he said, “crying is for babies” then gave me a hug. Now that just made me heave once more at the little boy who was obviously on the first rung of the don’t show your feelings for any reason rung of the ladder.
In a way, I’m glad this Eastenders storyline is over.
It has to be the only soap storyline that I have ever sobbed my heart out over, and I absolutely loved every second of it.
Now, the only thing left to do is to put on Marley and Me on tomorrow, to let littlest rekindle the fast leaving publically empathetic side of him !!!!