This year I promised myself I wouldn’t cry.
Each of the last nine anniversaries since the world was robbed of your beautiful spirit, I’ve mired myself down in grief, focusing on your loss instead of celebrating your incredibly full life.
I’d hoped my recent reading with Deb Webber would ensure I reflected with a smile on all the crazy, fun filled memories I had of my mate Shaggy, but I still cant help but feel the pull of pain when I focus on the hole in our world that has been left since you’ve been gone…
After the weekend gathering of your greatest mates, to mark this sad milestone, everything has been brought back up to the surface. My brain is brimming with recollections – the good, the bad, the funny, the sad… Throw in the fact “your song” came on as we drove to check in at the Gold Coast and I was wavering in my resolve. We hadn’t heard it in so long yet there it was, haunting us after flicking to a random radio station…
I know you know how much your death affected me. Sometimes it still takes my breath away with shock, even a decade on…
Perhaps a sixth sense made me bury my head in your chest, that April night, on the eve of my overseas backpacking adventure. I’d said so many goodbyes to so many people that week yet a force I cannot explain made me cling to you and cry when it became time to say farewell to you… The very last words you said to me, face to face, as I cried in your chest: “You’re beautiful” are still etched into my mind.
Then there was that unexplainable urge that led me to phone you just before your birthday, when I was near broke and 15,000 miles away – it would be the last time I would hear that cheeky laugh.
If I’d have had the slightest inkling of what lay in wait, I’d never had hung up the phone.
Anthony has been entangled in his own memories and today as well. He agrees it never stops being sad… Our little Harrison too sensed something amiss today. This morning he came and laid his head on my lap, encircling me with a cuddle, announcing out of the blue “I love you Mummy”. It reminded me how blessed I am that you had a helping hand in bringing them both into my world…
To honour you, we took a trip to our local beach this afternoon, and amongst the unseasonable wind and chill we stood and whispered our personal messages into the waves, throwing out a flower each in your memory.
The tears came then, as I suspected they might… Some people, even when gone from sight for 10 years, are so damn special that it can help but to still break your heart that you can no longer reach out and touch them, hear them, see them… The daggy dancing, the cheeky grin, the endless laughs, the days you were my rock when I needed a friend to understand when no one else could… What we’d all give to be able to see that mischievous glint in your eyes and that mop of unruly hair, propping up the bar, laying on bets, or burning up the beach.
We wrap the memory of you around us always.
(And next year I vow to try harder not to cry).
Forever your friend,