The month that was but wasn’t

On some days the words come and on some days they don’t. I have been writing bits of this post here and there for a few days now, which isn’t something I normally do, but writing about my life recently hasn’t been the same as it usually is. I toyed a lot with even posting this, because I’m not even sure how effectively I can string together what is happening in my head. I think I am writing it more for myself than for anyone else.

November felt like a month that was but wasn’t. The transition from October into the new month happened as it always does, and my weeks and weekends passed as they always do. I went to work, I translated, I answered stupid questions I had already answered at least 34 times, I went home, I watched movies, I spent time with friends, I explored, I did overly expensive food shopping, I had my usual strange dreams, I ate baked potatoes, I made long lists of what I wanted to do at the weekends, I wrote. But everything changed with a phone call.

Whether through illness or tragic accident, no one should ever experience the death of a young person.

Everything stopped but it didn’t. I went to work, I wrote, but it all felt different. Doing my freelance writing, usually my favourite thing in the world, felt less significant with every word I forced myself to type. What was I doing sitting there telling people the top 20 DIY christmas ornaments they could make? Why would being able to make a reindeer out of wine corks positively benefit anyone’s life in any way. The importance in everything I was doing felt like it was melting away.

It was my sister who actually said to me that one of the most difficult things is watching everyone else move around you when you feel like you can’t. That is entirely true. You have to watch people going about their daily lives as if nothing has happened, because to them it hasn’t. It takes so much pushing to force yourself to make yourself like you are still moving at the same pace.

Being away from home during the past few weeks has made things an uncomfortable mix of easier and harder. Being cut off from the direct effects of what happened meant that it didn’t feel real, which helped when I was alone, but it meant that when I went home for just a few days everything hit really hard. I needed it to do that though, I needed to go home, as I fear that I would have forever been stuck in a phase of limbo had I not, stuck between what I had been told and what I truly accepted.

If you have to search the thick fog for a silver lining it is that, when life throws one of the worst things that it can at you, you realise how many incredible people you are surrounded by. In the past couple of weeks, I have grown to see clearer than ever before the people who will drop everything for me, the ones who will check up on me despite us not having spoken for months before that, and the ones who will search M&S in Paris on a Friday night for my favourite things. There is a lot to be said for the people who stick by you through the hard times, because dealing with someone who is grieving is not easy. It’s difficult to cope with someone’s constantly changing emotions, and difficult to allow them to misdirect anger towards you. Feeling entirely helpless but still being there for someone is incredibly difficult, but it is the most heartwarming thing to know that someone would do that for you.

Life can be shit. As cheesy as it sounds however, it can also be pretty beautiful, and in times like these you have to think about the beauty that someone brought into your life, even if they will never do so again. There are memories to be treasured forever and things will change but you will never lose the times that you once shared.

You never know what is just around the corner. Don’t refrain from resolving an argument because you are too proud, don’t forget to tell people how much they mean to you, don’t go to bed upset with someone and don’t forget that every day you have is one more than some others got.


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