So, it’s been seven hours and fifteen days… No it hasn’t. It’s been 367 days, or is it 368, and however many hours, but I’m not Sinnead O’Connor, quietly dripping one beautiful tear down a flawless cheek. I’m a messy, lost, emotional, rudderless, ugly crying, me. Sunday marked a year since you left us, and still, nothing compares to you, and nothing ever will.
I had so much to say on that anniversary day and I still do. So much. But I just haven’t been in a place where I could do it. I’d battened down the hatches, and didn’t want to open the floodgates. I have been lucky enough to be able to talk to, and spend time with, some very important people over the last two days, which has helped. I have been reaching out left, right, and centre…to friends and family…and then I realised, *face palm slap*, that what I was actually trying to do was to talk to you…so it’s no wonder that nothing was quite scratching that itch is it? If only… I live in a world of if onlys…
It feels like it’s been forever, and also no time at all, and yet it is also still so surreal that maybe it never happened at all. Sometimes I wonder if it’s all some kind of sick joke…and I’ll wake up and it will all be over. But, as that song says, I’m still here, and I’m still not dead. And you are. It’s still all far too real.
It would have been the worst year of my life even had it been the only tragedy to have happened in it, which sadly it has not. Every time someone has said things couldn’t possibly get worse, they have. It has been a year of complete h*ll, and it hasn’t suddenly gotten better just because that year has passed. I am quite honestly surprised that I am still here, no thanks to some, and heartfelt thanks to many.
Being neither Sinnead O’Connor, nor Prince, I don’t do lyrics. So I thought I’d try a poem. Maybe this would be his song…
And I did write one. But I just couldn’t get it. Because there just aren’t the words. However I tried, it all felt clichéd and trite and it’s all been said so much better by others… I’m no W.H.Auden, no AE Houseman, who both say it better than I ever could. As ever, I’m just me. I tried, I did my best, and I was going to put it here. But I just couldn’t do it well enough to say it all in a way I could be proud of. I couldn’t do you justice with my words, and I didn’t want to get it wrong and let you down. So many others have done and continue to do it better. If I could, I would write you a poem, I would sing you a song…but I’m not talented enough. You’d get it though. You always did. We always knew what each other were thinking, but when we were apart we didn’t always have the words we wanted. Being apart was always so hard. It hasn’t gotten any easier…
I guess that’s why we used songs to say things to each other that we couldn’t say quite the way we wanted to ourselves, something you can probably tell from the links that have been scattered throughout my blog entries. We shared so many songs, so many lyrical words, and I am so glad I still have all our playlists, all those songs, for when I am able to listen to music again.
I couldn’t have this played at your funeral, though I wanted to. It’s a song you sent me a long time ago, but it would have been considered inappropriate, and I was only permitted so much influence over your farewell. But, whatever some may say, this is what we were underneath it all. Pure f*cking love. Just so as you know, I’m going to carry on being me, for you, because that’s what you would have wanted. In the meantime, here’s the song that said it when we laid you to rest…another one that you chose to send me. And I’ve still got love, so much love in my heart for you, and, come what may, I can’t and won’t let it go.
Through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered, we fought our way to be together. It took a long time, and it sure as h*ll wasn’t easy. Juggling everything we had between us sometimes made walking our life together a tightrope, but I’m so glad I got to walk along it with you. I’ll never let you go. And while I’m here, quoting away like mad, here’s one more song for you… Like so many films, but this one especially, your favourite, I can’t watch it without you. Your crazy still matches my crazy… And hey, I’m probably a whole heap crazier now than I was then. Grief tears you apart, and when, if, the pieces come back together, you’re just not the same, and never will be. There is always a crucial piece missing, and you are always broken in a way that can never be fixed.
I have no idea who I am now, but I am apparently a world of clichés and quotes, so why stop now? So, if the greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and to be loved in return, we were that for each other. Man, to be loved like that, and to love like that…just amazing. One year on I still love you as much as ever, if not more, and I’ll love you forever, to the beach and beyond. You were my new day, and you are still the little birdhouse in my soul.
We marked your passing in many a typical way, including a beach, with fizz, just the three of us. It all hurt like hell, and it still does. Life may be better at the beach, but being on a beach without you was a very hard step to take. It may have been an anniversary, but it was not a celebration. Just an acknowledgement of the time that has passed. And if there was anything celebratory about it at all, it was just that I am still here a year on, and I have made it through the many many times when I thought I would not, when I would cheerfully have gone gently into that good night and joined you.
So here we are. One unimaginable year later. Who knew you could cry every day for a year? I have been forced to learn so much about life, myself, others in that time… And here I am, still expressing myself by writing it all down, and since I’ve always been able to say more in the written word, be they mine or those of others, than those spoken in person, it’s helped, in so far as anything has, so I guess I’ll keep on doing it. In the meantime, here I am, lying here with all my thoughts inside this empty bed, and I miss you. If you distill it all, take all the words I write here, all the lyrics in these songs, and all the days I go through, that’s what you get. Three simple words that say so much. I miss you. And I love you. Another three words, that really go without saying, but I’m saying them anyway. I love you.
And so, life goes on. One foot in front of the other, remembering to breathe, one day at a time. It’s not really living, it’s just existing. But, like everything else, it is what it is. If only…
PS: Neck Deep have a new album out. You’d love it. I love it. And on it are so many songs we would have sent each other. It hurts, but I feel like I’m listening to it for both of us. It’s so sad that you’ll never hear it. And as they say on it, whatever storm is passing by…we all know nothing and we will all end up pushing daisies, and that’s the way it is.