It’s about 8 days and 13 hours today that I got the news that one of my dearest friends, who was like a sister to me, passed away unexpectedly. It leaves a massive gap in who and what you are…. Well for me that is…
Lynn is the first person I was close to that I’ve lost to the evil known as death…. So dealing with what’s happened since receiving word of the news has been a first for me. And one I don’t wish on any of my worst enemies(not that I really have any, that I know of).
The first few minutes are pure shock…. You don’t know what’s going on, you try to figure out if what you heard is what was actually said and then you break apart. Yes, I cried, I’m man enough to admit that, because if you don’t, well then you either have some major issues, or you are just a really heartless, lost soul.
Being one of the first people to receive the news, I took on the responsibility to let other mutual friends know what’s happened. You feel like crap when you tell people, and hearing their reaction to the news doesn’t help much for your already difficult situation wherein you’re trying your very best to maintain your composure. I called one of my friends, who you could clearly hear was out somewhere. His first reaction was “Dude if this is some kind of f***ed up joke…” Then silence as I told him again, “Dude, are you sure?” are the words I heard next. This went on for about another minute or so, but it felt like forever. He rushed to his car and called me again to tell me that he was making his way to JHB from PTA to see Lynn’s ex boyfriend, another mutual friend, who was still quite in love with her and had just got the news and wasn’t taking it well… I was glad, under the circumstances, that I never had to be the one to tell Lynn’s ex the news. Because according to what I was told from his reaction, you could see him break apart…. Not a pretty sight, but you can’t help but feel the same……
So if you haven’t lost anyone close to you, I’m not going sugar-coat it for you, it’s one of the most agonising things you will probably ever go through. But the saying you will always hear after people have heard about your loss, yes the “In time it becomes easier” line, is very true. It’s 6 days now, flying to Cape Town for the funeral, today since I got the news, and about 2 days after getting the news, each day you feel a little more able to smile and be yourself around others, but the feelings are overcome by guilt, feeling wrong that you could smile at something when your loved one is no longer with us. It’s all a very emotionally confusing time….Yeah I know i said it’s just over a week in the beginning of this article, but that’s when it’ll probably be posted and made live, after reviewing it a couple of times and making sure it’s got my stamp of approval.
Anyways, getting back to topic, it took me a day or two to start feeling a bit better. Yes, with each day, time begins to fill the huge gap that’s been left in your heart that mourns and yearns to see that person again, but it doesn’t make it all go away. Some days are also worse than others… Like you might be felling okay in the morning, then during the day, you hear a song or something that reminds you of something you did together, and it throws you 10 steps back, after you’ve been just barely able to make one step forward.
Flying to Cape Town on this early, and chilly August Friday morning, while I type the article, has given me a lot of time to think about my dear friend and things we did together…
I will never forget the new years eve weekend of 2006/2007…. Lynn’s family and my family hadn’t been friends for all that long, but we got along really well, so we decided we’d go up to this trout farm for the weekend. The first night was really great and we got to spend some time together getting to know each other better. The last night, on new years eve, we saw clouds coming in and didn’t think anything of it… Our parents were outside cooking dinner, while Lynn, her 2 other sisters, my brother and I were inside playing 30 Seconds. The next thing, we noticed that the clouds and mist had come in so dense and thick that we couldn’t even see a meter away from the door, and our parents weren’t visible through all this…. Then the rain started and before we knew it, it had rained so much that the trout dams started to overflow and the dirt, which was now a mud road that looked like a stream, had channelled the water in such a way that it was now coming into the house. Then we all hit panic stations. We grabbed everything we could carry and the little bit of food we could, and we had to go up to the house on the hill, because the one we were in, was between the two hills. Fortunately the owner had given us the other house’s keys for in case we needed to use it earlier the day. We set out and things got interesting… With the two damns overflowing and the road now even more like a stream, we had to hold onto each other to make it through… With Lynn and her sisters being fairly petite and short, when we got to the section where the one damn overflowed over the road, I had to make turns to carry Lynn and her other 2 sisters through as well as helping carry the food and stuff we could grab on our way out. We all made it through okay and the three girls and I ended up sitting up most of the night awaiting the arrival of the new year. It brings me back to the previous article I wrote, “Remembering The Good Old Days“….. I’ll never forget all the random laughter and crazy things you girls got up to and the many visits we shared. I’ll never forget the outpouring of love shown at the funeral of over 600 in attendance, because we were the ones whose lives you affected and graced with your presence!
Thinking about times together like this has a bitter-sweet feeling… It saddens you because that person you’re thinking of is gone, but it brings a small smile to your face because of the fun times you had and experiences you shared together. We want to remember the ones we’ve lost for the awesomeness they brought and laughter you shared together… For all the love they brought to your life and that you had the opportunity to love and be with them while they were still in our presence .
So if you’ve lost anyone close to you or someone you cared a lot for recently, keep strong, keep busy and it’ll get easier in time… Each day will be a little easier.
In loving memory of Lynn Bowers (7 August 1987 – 20 August 2011).
Always remember, give a jackass an education and you’ll have a smartass!