Emmerdale

As harrowing and distressing the closing stages of the “Ashley” storyline are in Emmerdale, I still feel compelled to watch the scenes. I’m sure for many of us they evoke painful memories. Fans of the show condemned the manner of the medic delivering the bad news to the character’s family as “robotic”, but in my personal experience her manner was far more sensitive than when we received the news we never wanted to hear.

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TV storylines like this can certainly be distressing, but they can also start a conversation about difficult issues. Do you think that the writers and actors have done a good job of handling the subject sensitively in this case?

I understand that a key episode in this storyline is screening tonight, so I have pinned your post to the top of the homepage for the weekend, in case anyone else is affected and wants to talk about it.

I understand this storyline was all about the dementia and the fact the character remembered his wife at the end but throughout his several days at home there was no dropping in from a Dr, District Nurse or Hospice Nursing staff which would have been realistic. Not even a fleeting appearance of someone explaining to Laurel what to expect. Many online comments mentioned about Laurel rushing to get a pillow and why would she do that, but why wouldn’t she - not because he needed one, but because distressed people don’t think straight in desperate situations so this could well occur in real situations. This meant Ashley passed away with his wife not being present, maybe that aspect will be addressed in Laurel’s resulting grief. Maybe the writers were trying to portray the fact that people do pass away when their loved ones have momentarily slipped out as Hospice staff say does happen and forum members have experienced themselves. Another important dimension was Gabby not getting private time alone with her father which I understand will be touched on during the follow up episodes to some degree. I thought it was understated and poignant especially Charlotte Bellamy’s lines at her Husband’s side. How the family handle the grief, especially Laurel will be compelling viewing. I found It touching and subtle but I think the scenes of Hayley Cropper passing away in Coronation Street with her Husband at her side evoked a deeper feeling for me, although admittedly there was a totally different element being addressed with that character’s passing away.

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