Being awoken to the shrill, high pitched screech of a landline telephone in the dead of the night always leaves you full of dread. For most people such occurrences imply catastrophic circumstances. For our family, at times, it’s an over zealous relative who simply overlooked the differences in timezones.
Unfortunately last weekends episode saw the former.
She used to be a close friend of yours Maria. She was someone who saw you through your toughest times and lent support and a helping hand whenever needed. To me she was someone I considered to be family. Someone who’d been and done more for me than my actual family. She silently and unexpectedly slipped away at midnight. She had been battling cancer for almost a year now, and yet this was ever so unforeseen. She had been unwell for so long but we’d expected to see her well into the New Year.
Alas, other plans were in place.
And now there’s a sudden darkness in the world. It has become a deeper shade of unruly grey and oh so much murkier sans her presence.
I don’t think I’ll ever forget the moment I heard of her passing. It was through thin walls and my mothers sobs at losing another dear friend while pitifully trying to console the bearer of tragic news. And me, upright in bed with my sidekick seated beside me, peering up with inquisitive eyes. And just as the tears dripped down my face so did the heavens open up.
They began to weep for such a pure, radiant and kind soul. For they too did not want her to depart so suddenly.
There was such warmth to this soul. So much kindness it overflowed and continuously touched anyone within her radius. She only ever showed me compassion and love, despite the high probability of knowing and understanding my flaws.
She always welcomed you with a warm smile, her voice mimicked such tones; velvety and ever so delicate.
Oh how many times I prayed and prayed that they take me instead of her. She may have lived a full seventy years here on this Earth, but she had a good forty more years yet. She had great grandchildren still to meet and grandsons who needed her guidance and love. She needed to see them grow from young children to undoubtedly fine and honorable adults.
She had so much to do. And yet here I am floundering and wasting precious space.
How is this fair? How is it ever fair?
I didn’t even get to say a final goodbye let alone see her one last time. What must she have thought of me? Being so horribly absent all this time. I was unwilling to accept her illness, wanting to bury my head in the sand while sending good, positive vibes her way. I expected her to return home, to make a full recovery, be an exception to the rule and fight the odds.
But here we are.
Yet another precious soul taken from me and one that will forever riddle and plague me with unyielding guilt.