I think of you when I pop the kettle on.
This week marks 5, ridiculously long, years that we lost you.
The last time I saw you was in the summer of 2013, at a party. It was like a mini reunion with our friends from school and we had such a laugh reminiscing the time when my mum was so mad at us for making far too much noise in the living room, baby Welly nights, the time we burnt porn and posted it in a church’s letter box (awkward…) and the notorious tales of Tango, that ginger, beautiful, hairy dog! I remember we said we’ll go for drinks very soon and see each other again.
I can remember that day. That day, I received the worst phone call of my life. I was at a show when one of our friends tried calling. I texted her saying I’ll call back later and asked if she was ok. Something about her response back made me think something wasn’t right, so I snuck off to the toilet and called her. I didn’t see the rest of the show. I spent the majority of the show slummed in the toilets, crying and sobbing on the phone to our friend.
You were gone.
I learnt that during your last hours, it was our friends who were there by your side. They made jokes, they told you off for getting herself in this situation and they told you how much they loved you. When you slipped away, they were devastated. But they powered through like troopers.
That weekend became a blur. All I remember from those few days is my mum coming round when I broke down on the phone to her you were gone, and she rushed over to my house to comfort me. I just felt incredibly raw. I’ve gone through this nightmare before with my Dad when I was twelve years old and I hoped it would never happen again. Not to anyone close to me.
There was a part of me where I was heartbroken you wasn’t going to be around with your dirty, infectious laugh. Another part of me – I was angry at you. You saw what I went through with the loss of my Dad. You booted that box of raw emotions I just packed away, and caused chaos. But there was a part of me where I felt guilty that I was feeling this way when I hadn’t seen you in a long time. Your death shouldn’t be about how I felt. You was struggling in your own way, and you made a decision to stop your pain.
Over the next few weeks, all of our friends, close and distant, rallied together. We had plenty of brews and reminisced on the good times you brought us. The funeral, which was on Halloween – one of your favourite times of the year – was packed. We carried on sharing memories of you after the service and throughout the next couple of weeks.
For something so tragic, it brought us all closer together. Definitely old memories came back, and it also brought me closer to everyone we grew up with.
The loss is immeasurable, but so is the love left behind.
Friends are always there for you, and they can bring the best out in you. Each one of their quirks is unique and that’s why you love them. They may drive you mad… but you might drive them mad. No matter what, they will always love you. Because you make their lives a little better. And they make your life a little better too.
After you died, you left a hole in our lives, but you saved lives – you were, and still are, a big advocate for organ and blood donation. Now, we’re all registered on the organ donation list and donate blood whenever we can, all in memory of you.
I love you so bloody much bird.
I’ll make us a brew.