It happens when you least expect it. It is like a wave in the sea that you don’t see coming, sneaking up on you, tearing you from your stability and tumbling you round and round while you try to come up and take a gasp of air.
First comes disbelief and doubt and then, when apparent it has happened, unbelievable pain. Pain that seconds ago you had no thought of, no wish for, no comprehension of. You want to go back to your happy state of oblivion of 5 minutes before; you don’t want to think or talk or even move; you just want to move backwards in time to that happy bubble of ignorance.
This happened to me almost 9 months ago. Quite ironic isn’t it? Losing a person while another person shall soon enter this world, one I don’t even know. People are supposed to die and people are supposed to be born. But why is it that the people who really don’t deserve to die often do? People who have so much love and enthusiasm for the world and who genuinely want to make a difference? Well, clearly, life just isn’t fair.
I lost a close friend and I still think about her often. I think about her enthusiasm for life, her crazy antics that I’m surprised didn’t land us in more trouble, her wholesome generosity and her quirky sense of self. She always had a smile and was up to do anything. She opened your eyes to possibility and would make you laugh for hours on end.
When she passed it was surreal. Because she lived far away it still seems like it hasn’t happened and that I will see her again, but I won’t. I have to accept that and I think acceptance happened after I managed to go to her funeral, to say my final goodbyes, to let her know I loved her and that I will never forget her.
Ashes to ashes; dust to dust. I think the pastor mentioned ash and dust. Perhaps he didn’t. I just remember trying to hold it together, to breathe at the right moments, to not fall apart.
It is so final seeing someone with their eyes closed, garish make-up and grey-hued pallor. You don’t want to look but because of some sort of sick fascination you do. Perhaps you want to make sure, perhaps it’s curiosity, perhaps there is no reason for it. I just know I didn’t want to look, in fact, I almost started hyperventilating, yet I did. And sometimes, even now, when I close my eyes it is that face I remember, not the exuberant, light laugher-filled one of the embodiment of her, but the clown-like creepy lifeless one.
I try to remember her as she was, and more often than not I do. She’ll pop up in a dream here and then, or fleetingly in conversation. She lives on in all of us, I’m just sad she isn’t here to conquer all she set out to do. I have accepted that she is gone, but she will never be forgotten.