Ramblings on Loss

 I have no idea how this will go, it's a bit of a 'write to get it out' type post. 

Keith, an elderly white male smiles at the camera with glasses on

Last week, on a Monday evening I sat at home in my bed waiting for a message from Martyn. I was waiting for the message telling me his Dad had passed away. It was a strange moment waiting for that message and not one I've ever waited around for.

One of my great privileges that I am hugely aware of is that I have never experienced close, personal loss. Well, not strictly true.

In 2021 I lost one of my best friends. I hadn't seen him in 4 years, the one time I went back to Cornwall I saw his wife, my other best friend, and we had a lovely catch up with some of the kids and her friend. He wasn't there and his absence was felt by me.

I did get a phone call very out of the blue one evening in February. Some indication as to how often I got called by him was I almost hung up the call thinking he had sat on it! Luckily I answered and we had a wonderful catch up. A week later he was in hospital and 3 days later I had a text I could never predict telling me he was gone.

Gone.

I've lost family but I've been never close to them. Either not seeing them since I was very young or they passed when I wasn't old enough to understand. My friend was the first loss and it hit me hard. Keith passing away has also hit me. I wasn't close to him. I also know how he brought up Martyn and treated him, I wouldn't have liked that version of him but the man I have known for 4 years was a vulnerable man. A man who was lost without his wife, deteriorating with dementia and quite funny.

We bonded over gardening. He loved to share the knowledge he had with me. He made me laugh when he would shuffle around the house muttering about people in his house he didn't want there. When he tried to climb the ladder to the loft I was trying to clear out he nearly gave everyone else a heart attack!

He came over a few times to our house when Martyn lost the ability to be able to enter his old family home and it was nice to cook for him. We spoke about the same things we always did; his youth, the marines, his family and friends. They were always the same stories but I smiled and laughed and nodded and asked the same questions I had asked a thousand times before because I didn't mind. I didn't care.

Now he's passed away although it's sad it's a relief.

But I kind of find that these losses have made me realise my privilege even more. I have both my parents who are only in their 60s. An aunt who is my second Mum. I even have 3 grandparents! My kids have 3 Great Grandparents! I know you can't think about all these morbid things too much because it'll drive you mad and you should focus on life, making memories.

I've always had this fear of death. It doesn't suit my control freak nature but I wouldn't exactly like to know when it would be my time either.. bit of a problem there! 

Next month is the first year of my friends passing and as it gets closer I feel my heart break all over again. I didn't have enough photos. I didn't have enough memories. I didn't have enough bloody time. 

Now I sit here and I think of all those in my close family circle and my close friends. I don't think I have enough memories, I don't know how easy it would be to make more given all our different circumstances.

Things are so hard for everyone. Money is so tight. My family are in one direction and myself in another. My friends, our relationships much smaller. My oldest friend just stopped being in touch one day. 13 years and suddenly it was all gone. No matter how much I want to move on I still grieve that friendship too.

I know I have to make things happen. I know who I want to fill my life with. I know those who I feel it would be almost impossible to live without and I know we have to make those memories together. Perhaps I'm having some early crisis or loss drives everyone a bit mad! I don't know, it's all another journey to walk isn't it?