You know how people always say you should find the positives in everything and ignore the negatives? I try to do this as much as possible, but, like everything, this isn’t always possible.
I don’t mean to put a downer on your day by talking about death, but the reason why I started this blog was to be able to put down my feelings and hopefully in some way sort my mess of a mind out, and so this is what I’m going to try to do now. I hope I don’t offend anyone in this post, as I realise it’s a subject which you have to try and skirt around and just not talk about it, as it’s almost a taboo subject.
A friend of mine lost a family member very recently, which was the trigger for me to start thinking about loss, and it made me reminisce on the people I’d lost and how this affected and shaped me as a person. Probably my earliest experience of loss was my much loved dog dying when I was four years old, and I can remember sitting on the bottom stair and being told by my mum that he hadn’t been very well and had gone to heaven. I think it’s strange that I can remember being told this but I can’t remember being told that my Grandad had died (which was around the same time). It almost makes me wonder if I had been told or not, or if I’d worked it out for myself. I don’t know.
The death, however, which probably had the greatest impact on me was the when my friend had died when I was eight years old. He was nine and to this day I can remember the exact words my mum said to me and where I was when I was told about his passing. I was sat on my bed making a Easter card as it was Maundy Thursday, and when my mum came in I tried to sit on my card because it was a surprise for her. I can remember the words she said to me, and I can remember how when she left, she came back into the room and asked how close I was to him. I can remember going back to school and how everyone avoided talking about him, except in assembly when we had a silence for him and all of his friends brought in daffodils to put in a peace garden we made for him, and how each year on April 13th whilst we were at that school we would each place a single daffodil there, until it was just a few of us who still remembered. I remember the talks our teacher gave us, the talk by the head teacher and the time my friend completely lost it because he missed him so much and he just started throwing chairs and turning over tables. It’s hard to find a positive in that, don’t you think?
The first day back at school after my friend died, we were all given a piece of paper in which we had to draw a picture which reminded us of him and write something about him to give to his mum. I drew a picture of him holding a daffodil (even though it just looked like a stickman holding a torch with a coloured orange mess for hair) and wrote “he’s always smiling”. I remember being laughed at by other girls who told me I must be stupid because “no one can always be smiling” and I can remember the teachers reply “it’s something nice his mum will like to read”. I can then remember her asking me to redraw it and change it to “he was”. I didn’t because I told her that he is probably still smiling in heaven with all of the other angels. I don’t even know if my picture got put in the collage for his mum because of my grammatical error.
Can you find a positive in losses as strong as this? I lost a friend who had had a huge impact on my life in a positive way. He let me sit and talk to him when I was bullied at lunch times, and let me play Rose in his Doctor Who game (I had never even seen it, but he made me feel like I knew everything). He told me how he wanted to be someone who helped a lot of people when he was older, or go to the moon. It’s a cruel world which never allowed him to go to the moon, or let him “get older”. He did help people though. He helped me. I only knew him for four years, but in the last year or so, when the bullying I went through was starting to get pretty bad, he noticed when nobody else did and sometimes didn’t play with his friends and came and spoke to me when I was crying in the corner of the playground, or hiding in a bush (I was a great believer of the idea if I couldn’t see them, nobody would see me). I am eternally grateful to him for this, and I guess before writing this post I never really realised how important he was in my life.
This blog post started with me saying how I was wondering if you could find positives in everything. I don’t think this is true in situations such as this. Another saying is how you don’t know and appreciate what you’ve got until you’ve lost it and this is true. I’m never going to stop thinking about what my friend could have grown up to be or where he would be now, and I wonder if I would still be friends with him, if he would still have the same dreams and ambitions, or silly little things like would he have done well in his gcse’s or be looking forward to the 50 year Doctor Who episode next Saturday. He never had the chance to “get older” or to fulfil what he wanted to be when he “grew up”, because he never did.
I’m sorry, this post was going to be a whole long philosophical post about how in some ways loss could be considered important, but I just put down every single thing that was running through my head, and I ended up with this mess.
RIP to all those who were taken away so soon. I love and miss you more than you will ever know. Thank you for everything you did for me in your short life, I wish you were still here today.