A matter of life and death, part 2

A matter of life and death, part 2

Many years ago I was a volunteer at a local museum in the UK. As well as volunteers, they also hosted prisoners from a nearby open prison. Generally they were pretty good company, often providing a different perspective. Indeed, one of the curators married one of them. 

One time we learned that one of the two current prisoners had murdered his wife. Lets call him Bill. However, as he was at an open prison everything was apparently all right. He began a relationship with a member of staff, lets call her Lucy. One evening Lucy and I were at a museum staff event - can't remember what - and we got talking about life and stuff and she said to me something about how both of us had been having a bit of a rough time, but that we had both come through it. I always remember this piece of kindness to me.

As I said this was a long time ago and I don't remember all the details. Memory is a fickle thing. However, one day that can't have been that long after the staff event (or was it? Something in my memory wonders if Lucy had actually left her job a the museum) we received the news that Bill had murdered Lucy and then killed himself. Everything had not been all right.

This was an awful shock, and pretty much put paid to the idea of the museum hosting prisoners. On a personal level, because of Lucy's comment to me there was a time when I almost felt a bit guilty for not having been murdered.

Experiences like this stay with you. They show that real life can jump up and bite you wherever you are, when you least expect it. 

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