Ten years. A decade. 120 months. More weeks, days and moments than I can begin to count.
Monday marked the 10 year point of losing the most important person in my life. Someone I spent as much time as possible with from the moment we met at the age of two. A cousin, a twin in another life perhaps, a best friend, a partner in crime, an inspiration and a soul sister. She was not just a big part of my childhood, teenage years and early adulthood – she represented everything about the first 20 odd years of life.
So how do I begin to summarise the second part of my life? Not very easily.
The second part of my life began at a memorial service that was held for my cousin. I was standing outside, talking to some mutual friends, when I realised that I was on my own for the first time since I could remember. Well, since I was two, but that is much the same thing. It was a sad, empty feeling. For many years, that feeling stayed with me. When such a huge part of your life (and maybe even your soul) is gone, along with a lifetime of milestones, firsts, memories and moments, it is almost like losing yourself too. There was then – my life before she went, and there was now – everything else after that.
But this is not meant to be a sad post.
Learning how to walk alone was one of the hardest things I had to do. Learning how to let myself grieve was also hard. Learning how to let her go (and let my sadness go) was the hardest part of all. So hard that I was only able to get there last year – somewhere around the nine year mark.
During all of the grieving and healing and learning how to be just me rather than a part of someone though, a great deal of other things happened. I grew up. I took her advice and studied something that would end up getting me where I am today. I moved, quite a few times. Old friends, new friends, bad friends, boyfriends all came and went and stayed. I had more ups, downs, laughs, scares, good times and crazy times than I can think of.
A decade… how can you sum up your life over a decade? What would you say to someone you will never see again (not in this life anyway) about that decade?
There is just too much to say, and yet I know I don’t need to say anything. She is still part of me after all – not just as a hole in my heart anymore, but as a melded, healed part of my heart. Who I was growing up, who I was then, who I am now… they are still the same.
While I am still sad that she is gone, I am glad that I had the chance to have her in my life. I know that those who knew and loved her feel the same. I will carry that part of her that is in me, and that will see me through the sad times.
In 15 years, 20 years and even 50 years, I don’t think that will change. I guess the only way I can begin to explain how I feel now at this point is this:
Forget not that I shall come back to you.
A little while, and my longing shall gather dust and foam for another body.
A little while, a moment of rest upon the wind, and another woman shall bear me.
Farewell to you and the youth I have spent with you.
It was but yesterday we met in a dream.
You have sung to me in my aloneness, and I of your longings have built a tower in the sky.
But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over, and it is no longer dawn.
The noontide is upon us and our half waking has turned to fuller day, and we must part.
If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song.
And if our hands should meet in another dream, we shall build another tower in the sky.
~ Kahlil Gibran – The Prophet – The Farewell