News yesterday that my favourite comedian of all time, Sean Lock, had died of cancer left me in bits.
I’ve spent hours rewatching clips of his hilarious monologues, one-liners, and tributes from across all corners of the world. I’ll never meet the people who are sharing them, but in this moment, they feel like old friends. I feel like calling them and talking about Sean Lock– our other old friend, (who I of course didn’t know either).
The untimely death of anyone is tragic. But during a time when the world seems so bleak, the loss of someone like Lock in the world, seems particularly cruel.
Reading comments from others, I know I’m not alone in feeling this way. The past 18 months have utterly changed the world we know, and while we’re ultimately united in uncertainty, many people have never felt more alone.
Mental health struggles are rampant, as countries continue to experience lockdowns and fierce restrictions in the face of COVID19. People have lost their livelihoods, their loved ones and the light at the end of the tunnel– nearly two years on from the first outbreak– remains dim.
Of course, the past week has seemed especially grim, as news of the Taliban’s resurgence hits our headlines. Images of people fleeing the streets of Kabul, women being shot dead, bodies falling off planes and children with terror imprinted on their faces haunt me.
It is never lost on me, how supremely lucky I am.
But even with immense (and never taken for granted) fortune, the past two years have felt challenging.
When I had my first baby at the beginning of the pandemic, following straight on from Australia’s horrific January 2020 bushfires, I was riddled with anxiety. I felt emotionally overwrought, overwhelmed and out of depth. I also had debilitating insomnia. For me, the greatest escape was sitting on my couch cuddling my new baby watching re-runs of 8 Out of 10 Cats– the show Sean Lock became most famous for.
His deadpan wit, coupled with the camaraderie he shared with fellow hosts, Jimmy Carr, Jon Richardson, Susie Dent and Rachel Riley was genius. But it was Lock’s ultimate humanity that set him apart from many others. His brilliance stemmed from the fact he knew people, he understood people, and he could draw on tiny innately human moments to connect us all.
Watching 8 Out of 10 Cats every night, during a time I felt most vulnerable, saved me in many ways.
So, as a tribute to the great man, and to spread the love and laughter that has helped many out of dark places, I share the below. You’re welcome.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help now, call triple zero (000).
You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Or you can call Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636, 24 hours/7 days a week or Kids Helpine on 1800 55 1800