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I thought I had my article for Chaud ready to be emailed to the editor-in-chief. It had nothing to do with this months, “Pay It Forward” issue. It had something to do with being honest with your friends about your wages. That article sits in my draft and instead this one came to me during my sleep and at the end of it, it tied in perfectly with this month’s theme. It’s a bit personal but I hope someone out there draws comfort and inspiration from it.
At 2 am I remembered. Shivering, scared and feeling alone I realised that the foul mood I had failed to stave off with fake cheer, a gazillion projects and emotional eating was due to a single date in my life that I always dread. 3rd March.
Some years, I’m lucky. I forget. Or perhaps I’m unlucky because months later I remember that I forgot and then unfortunately I’m racked with guilt. Annoying, cloying guilt like strong perfume. It will float around me and follow me throughout the day until I drift into a fitful sleep.
Other years, like this year; a dull nagging ache stalks me. Trying to remind me that there is something or someone missing. As much as I try to ignore it, I over analyse my feelings to search for the reason why I can’t sleep, the loss of appetite, the moodiness, the weepiness and just why I’m being downright miserable.
Then as the date draws closer the fog of forgetfulness clears and I sigh in remembrance. I remember there is only two of us out of four. All the heartache and loss from the first time comes rushing back, a tidal wave of tears breaks down the walls of staunch detachment that I’ve built up.
God or the universe, if you will ; was leaving me bigger clues than Hansel’s breadcrumbs. The one person who resembled the ones I lost, popping up all over the place. In my Facebook feed, on my twitter timeline, my emails and in conversations. Snippets of songs, familiar smells, comfort food and long ago conversations surround me in an attempt to nudge me to remember.
So I do. I have. The memory is here in all it’s heartbreaking tangible realness. It’s here. Attempting to break me down. I think I mentioned this but God or the universe seems to know something I don’t. A forgotten excursion that required me to leave my life for a little, popped up from nowhere.
It required me to volunteer my time, disengage from social media for a few days and focus on a group of people whose lives are harder and harsher than anything I have ever had to face. So yes, as I struggled to remember and fight off my foul mood because of my own demons, I was forced to focus on others.
When I returned to my life, I was quite weepy but a realisation hit me with so much force I had to sit down and acknowledge it’s depth. We cry and we miss loved ones who have left this world. We lament that they are not here to be loved by us any longer and we wish with every fiber of our being that they could return or at the very least they could tell us that they are ok. Yet we forget that their legacy is greater than our pain.
Their passing should inspire us to do better, be better, love more and give all without fear or favour. Cliche but oh so true. I think of my late little brothers beaming smile, contagious laugh, intelligent eyes and heart warming gift of being able to call you out on your bullsh*t. I never knew my older sister but as crazy as it sounds, her spirit follows me. I realise that I’m living not only for myself but for them. I can be someone elses big sister. Someone elses awesome little sister. Bestow on them the love that they had unconditional access to. I can live the life of promise they missed out on. I can pay their lives forward by living my life the best way I can. That is how we should all live our lives for those who are not here. Pay their lives forward.
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