It has been a rough few days since my friend passed on, over Christmas I managed to keep a smile on my face most of the time and block thoughts of the fact he was gone by pretending that it was just a bad dream. Reality strikes hard and on the 24th, yes you heard right… Christmas eve, his funeral took place in South Africa. It saddened me that I wasn’t there to say goodbye to him but then I stopped myself, shook my head and reminded myself that I had bid farewell to him in person while he was still in London. It didn’t feel final when I saw him last, a part of me fought along side him, fighting for a miracle that was to never be and as the people in the house went about there business I went outside with my earphones playing lullaby by Billy Joel. I found myself standing dead still, music filling my ears. As the lyrics filled my heart, mind and soul I looked up to the sky and bid my farewells to a soul that I know will live on forever because now he is a part of us all.
Death is a strange thing and a fact of life and although it is just that we tend to walk around not giving it one thought until it touches us. The human spirit is strange in the way it avoids the things that we fear most, no I am not in a philosophical mood my dear friend, I am all dried out for the time being, still a bit numb from it all. The one thing I can tell you is that no matter what happens I will always live my life without regrets, do the things that get my blood pumping and be myself no matter what, I will die without “I wish I had’s”
Although I say I shall live with out those regrets I will readily admit that I have picked up a few along the way, regrets that only my heart can forgive myself for but the greatest one sparked while my younger brother visited me over Christmas. He and I, along with the rest of the family, have not had an easy life, it has been one of many trials but he is the only one that went through part of mine with me. When he was just on 7 and I 13 our mother decided to move to another country to be with her new husband leaving my younger brother in a boarding school and the ward of his alcoholic abusive father and myself in a boarding school 200km’s away from him and guardianless (if there is such a word 😉 ). Although I know it was not in my power to do anything for him because I was too busy trying to find a roof over my head over weekends and holidays, often sleeping on the streets and in public toilets. I often wished during that time that I had been in the position to look after him, to take him away from his father and give him a real home where he had his own room and no fear. No matter how hard I tried to make money by selling my art etc I never seemed to be able to get enough as I was also paying people to let me stay with them. Not being able to help him killed me and still does now even though he is all grown up and looking after himself now, this is one of the regrets I need to let go and forgive myself for. I know you are probably sitting there thinking “come on woman you didn’t have any hope in hell nor way of helping him”… I know this but it doesn’t change the way I feel.
You may also be asking yourself why I never went to stay with his father and look after him that way… I couldn’t, his father had hurt me too badly, I was too emotionally scarred and traumatized by what had taken place before that I couldn’t go near him… the reason my mother left him with his father is because he’d never touched him to our knowledge. This is the other part of my guilt, that I let my own fear stop me from being there for him while he was growing up, that I couldn’t be strong enough to put it aside. Yes there is way more to this but far more than I am willing to delve into right now.
I guess the moral of this story is that so often our fear gets in the way for perfectly good reasons, don’t ever hate yourself for it rather use it to grow from and learn. If it is regret you harbor, speak to those you have it with and ask their forgiveness, it is up to them and their hearts whether they can forgive you or not. I know that my brother hasn’t come to that place yet where he can forgive me for those years but I know in time he will… he has told me that he forgives me, he has told me I am the only woman he has ever trusted but I also know that in his heart he is still in pain, still aching… in time he will learn to forgive all of them including myself for letting him down in the most important years of his life… one day and until then I will live like I should’ve, I will continue to do everything in my power, that I now have, to help him in his life’s journey.
Life is a funny thing isn’t it?