| 7.8°C Belfast

Kerri McLean

No matter how much you want revenge, it's always best to learn a lesson... and move on

Kerry McLean


Don’t let revenge eat you up

Don’t let revenge eat you up

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Don’t let revenge eat you up

There are few things in life that really scare me. Of course, being a mother, the thought of anything hurting or harming my children is top of the list but in terms of things that might happen to me, I can't think of many.

I have daft dislikes, like butterflies or bananas, both things that make me shudder and that I'm happier not sharing a room with, but the logical part of my brain knows that there's no real reason to be scared. Unless butterflies suddenly grow teeth or bananas mutate into mushy monsters, they can't harm me.

But there's one fear I've had since childhood, a macabre, dark fear, that still makes the hairs on the back of my neck rise at the mere thought of it - being buried alive. It's a plotline that I remember being horrified by in several movies and books as I grew up but, as is often the case with these things, it was the first time I'd ever heard of such a thing happening that is still writ large in my memory.

My older cousins were at our house visiting and one of them insisted on watching an old film that was being re-run on the TV.

It was called Premature Burial (the film company blowing any hope of a surprise ending with that name!), starred Ray Milland and was made decades before in 1962. But that didn't make what unfolded any less terrifying to 10-year-old me. If you haven't watched it, seek it out, especially any horror movie buffs.

It's been in my mind this week after reading about a gentleman who, while not finding himself buried alive thankfully, did stumble across his own grave. Alan, a retired welder from Scotland had noticed that his social life was at a bit of a low ebb. He had put it down to having recently retired, thinking that his friends, many of whom were still working at his old firm, had simply forgotten about him. A case of out of sight, out of mind, or so Alan thought.

But it was when he bumped into a former friend who promptly turned white at the sight of him, that the truth came out.

Alan had separated from his wife 26 years previously but clearly not one to move on easily and motivated, Alan believes, by revenge, she had declared him dead and erected a tombstone, inscribed with his name and details. No wonder his pal who had heard of Alan's passing felt the blood drain from his face when he came marching up the street towards him.

When challenged, Alan's wife said that she wasn't taking revenge on her ex but was instead ensuring that they would still be buried together at a plot they'd purchased while still a couple.

Whatever the motivation, poor Alan was pictured standing in shock beside his own tombstone, a selfie few of us would envy.

If Alan's wife was motivated by revenge 26 years after her marriage ended, she'd certainly be a proponent of the belief that revenge is a dish best served cold.

In my experience, revenge is more like one of the dishes you find covered in clingfilm at the back of the fridge, the sort you filled with left overs from the Sunday roast with the intention of not letting it go to waste.

You have all these notions of creating something tasty for Monday night's dinner, maybe a risotto or some sort of posh frittata if you've been watching old reruns of Nigella on a cookery channel, only to realise on Thursday morning, when you open the fridge door and are met with a whiff that could melt metal, that you'd forgotten all about them.

So, you gingerly remove them from cold storage, grimacing as you go, and dump the congealed, furry food straight into the bin outside.

Because that's where it deserves to be. Just like revenge.

Revenge, like that mound of mouldy left-overs, will only leave you worse for wear if you consume it.

If someone does you wrong remember it and learn from it, but the best revenge is to shake it off, move on and let that person have as little long term effect on you or your life as possible.

Please log in or register with belfasttelegraph.co.uk for free access to this article.

Already have an account?

Belfast Telegraph