In the last few days, I’ve been writing heaps more than usual. Which is great, of course, because I need another 80,000 words on my first draft. But today’s post isn’t about writing but about life. Or more exactly, death, and its relevance to life.
Be warned, this next bit may get philosophical. Personally, when someone I love and care about dies, I shut down. Completely. I bury myself in everyday things and stay firmly in denial until enough time, whether it is months or years, has passed that I can remember them with a sense of impartiality and equilibrium. So funerals can be a problem. They force me to confront the truth and for that reason I dread for the full sixty minute service. But is an hour or two or three really long enough a time to a) properly celebrate and recognise the person or b) allow the mourners to form some sort of closure?
And now comes the confession. A few months ago, a childhood friend of mine was killed in a car accident. I hadn’t really spoken to her for a few years. We went to different schools and took different paths but after her death, I realised that she was there beside me during what I believe to be some of the most formative moments of my childhood. Yet, despite all this, I didn’t go to her funeral. I suppose I felt I didn’t deserve to be there. That I had no right to feel sad. And I suppose, I also felt guilty. Guilty that I hadn’t kept in touch as much as I should off. Guilty that friendship necklaces and promises of BFF’s forever! gathered dust in the attic of my memories.
I’m still not sure whether I regret my decision or not, because each person mourns in their own way and mine is to internalise it all. This post may, perhaps, be my catharsis. Regardless, I feel all this needed to be said. I needed to say it. So thank you to those of you who heard me out.