The Walking Dead

The zombie genre is violent. Eating is violent. Apocalypses are violent. All my favourite television shows are violent: Walking Dead; Breaking Bad; the Wire, the Sopranos. Nice people dying for no good reason, good people becoming bad people. I can watch kids putting bullets in each other and or in zombies.  Shed a few tears, shake my head with incredulity, be thankful it’s television, move on. “The Killer Within,” Episode 4, Season 3 of Walking Dead? I can’t get it out of my head.

<SPOILERS AHEAD>

There’s a deep sense of uneasiness in my gut. Lori Grime’s death was definitely violent. Cornered in a room, in labour, zombies at the door, unable to give birth naturally, no way to reach the doctor or his assistant, no anaesthetic. Cold cement, the sound of death, blood running down her thighs. Son by her side. And then a knife through her belly, cutting through layers of flesh. A good woman, dying, bleeding, dead. Two children left, both innocent, both agents in their mother’s death.

Why this death? Why is the depiction of death through childbirth more traumatic to me than all the violent acts I’ve watched on television? Maybe it’s too much time reading Veronica Ades’ field blog Love, Labour and Loss and it’s very real account of childbirth in the developing world. Maybe it’s something more primal. Maybe it’s just a lack of exposure.

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