My English teacher in school use to have this saying: if one thing in life is certain, it is death.
I never actually listened to that saying: I tried to keep it out of my mind as he seemed like an old cynic, who didn’t really want to look forward to life.
Well. He was right. In his cynic ways he was speaking some truth.
So, my fellow bloggers, I bring to you today a post that I’ve been wavering more than a month on.
I’ve not had words to put onto paper and they still seem so bleak, cooped up in my mind.
I’ll try my hardest to give them life in this post, but I can’t promise anything.
Let me just jump straight into it.
On 27 May my boyfriend passed away.
I still remember the phone call, the moment my heart stopped beating, the disbelief in my voice and myself as I rushed to his flat to see if it was true, the police cars outside, his flat mate’s eyes as he walked over to me. It’s all still pretty much cooped up in my head. Swirling around like lost clouds, while I try and make sense of it all.
It’s about 5 weeks later and I have still not made sense of everything. My one friend said I shouldn’t be so hard on myself and force everything. But, me being a journalist and all, I just want answers to merely impossible questions.
R was the guy who changed my life. When I met him in October last year, I immediately felt it. I knew, above all, that I had scored a wonderful friend. And I didn’t bargain for even remotely falling in love with him over time.
It felt good when he said it first to me after a few months of dating. There was a confident tone in his voice, and his charming eyes had turned slightly to an honest gleam.
But, I was not best person I could be, and I have constantly blogged about it before. I had the worst insecurities with myself, my life, my sexuality and who I was. Inside myself, I was hiding away from the world. A scared boy.
It was a magical, maybe even angelical, moment when R swooped in and ripped me out of my shell. He saw behind all the walls I had built and the layers I had plastered over myself through the years. To him my true self, the one I had spent so much time hiding, was the most beautiful thing about me.
Needless to say, I only realised I was not as broken as I thought after he’d passed away. It took me one moment, in my car, to seemingly get to the point: R fixed me. As much as him passing away shook me to my core and ripped every foundation I had laid a part, he fixed me.
I still get teary eyed when I realise how much he changed me.
The other day, after hearing everything about what had happened, someone asked me: “How are you still standing?”
This statement really yanked me. I hadn’t really paused as yet to look at what damage this chaotic hurricane/storm has caused to my life. (I’m sorry if I’m offending people by equating the death of a loved one with a hurricane or storm, but it’s the only analogy that works for me.)
In my mind, the dust was still settling, and I was trying to just keep my head above water. Fight or flight, you know?! I could’ve decided to either lay down, in a little heap in the corner of my room and declared that my life was over (which I did do for a few days). Or I could’ve just kept walking, withering the storm. As simple as that.
Last night, I came across a quote from Liz Gilbert, famous (brilliant) author who’s changed my life as well on several occasions. It’s from her novel Eat, Pray, Love and says the following:
“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.
A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful.
Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then leave. A soul mates purpose is to shake you up, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light can get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you have to transform your life…”
Again, Liz made the light go off in my head. And helped me answer the question: How am I still standing?! I just somehow wish, he didn’t had to leave the way he did.
Even though death is final and has ripped R away from lots of loved ones, it has allowed us all to stand tall and do what he wanted us to do: Be nothing else than great.
I have come to learn how much he touched a lot of people’s lives and how he fixed people up with a simple smile, joke, words of encouragement of hug. And it’s inspired me a lot. So much so, for me to remember how he always begged me: Never change. Be the best you can be.
Although I can not guarantee that the journey forward will not be smooth sailing and without days where I’ll cry and feel depressed, I’ll never stop standing tall and being who I am. I’ll always love R and I’ll always miss him. All in all: Celebrate life every single day. It’s the best gift you can have.