I wrote this after receiving news of a good friend having passed. Its raw with minimal editing. Names changed for privacy.
We all dread them. Those calls that come in the night.
I just had one of those calls. From my best friend Gill. Grabbing for my mobile next to my bed seeing her face lighting up on my phone. 5AM!! I knew something was wrong. Too sleepy and slow to react in time, so I rang her back. Bad news. Anna, a very dear friend of ours had just passed away. Drowned trying to help another person in the river. Don’t know any more details. But Anna is dead.
It’s so final. It makes my stomach churn and I feel like being sick. I cry. It’s dark outside. I am glad its early morning at least. I want the light, I want the sun to come up. Not that it would make any difference to Anna. She is no longer. I will never see her face again or hear her laugh.
She was so full of life. Always off doing something. Her ex and children here, but rest of her family in Holland. I think it made her unsettled and she often spent several months in Europe. She loved hiking and the Swiss mountains had her going back. She would work there in summer mostly. This time she got a job caring for an old lady in a ski holiday village. But she would always come back here to her children. We knew that was Miranda. The gypsy type existence. We got used to her coming and going, but always looked forward to having her here again.
My head still can’t accept she will not come back. Life is so precious. Goodbye sometimes really is goodbye. We all act as if we will live forever, but we all know we will not. Somehow we don’t accept that fully. Until someone passes and we have no choice. That happens more and more when you are my age. I hate it. The constant reminders we are all really alone. We only have ourselves in life. And that is such a sad thought sometimes.
It really is so important to make the most of the time we have with people we care about. Because we never know when we get that dreaded call or even when it’s our time. Each time someone leaves us, its a reminder to take stock and really appreciate what we have. To make sure we fill our lives with what is important to us. If that means climbing mountains then so be it, but it can just as easily be catching up with good friends for a quiet meal.
I treasure those moments. I don’t need the big adventures to make my life worthwhile. I need moments with loved ones. I treasure that more than anything else. Just special little moments of time spent with people I care about. My children, my family & friends. Sometimes even moments with total strangers can be special. Make you feel life is worth every moment. Give you that heart-bursting feeling. Like you just want to jump for joy.
I had a lot of moments like that with Anna. We often caught up when she was here, walking the esplanade or just chatting over a cuppa. I can see her smile and also hear her direct approach to everything. She spoke her mind without the filter most have. It was a pain in the butt sometimes, but also so endearing. I will miss her spirit. I will miss my friend Anna.