The news of J passing away hit me hard and made me feel selfish for being so wrapped in myself. But at the same time I couldn’t shake the fear that had arrived when I had found out the police couldn’t locate M.
It sounds awful but grieving for J helped me as it took me away from the present and into the past, the times we had spent as children and then later as teenagers and finally as adults. We had always laughed and J had sent me a lovely letter when things had started to get truly bad with M.
W was amazing that week, he understood I was on the edge and he made a real effort to cheer me up including giving me a beautiful bunch of roses. It felt like my boyfriend was back and I was so hopelessly grateful.
The funeral was organised swiftly, I wrote two heart breaking cards one for J’s parents- she was their only child. The other to her husband D. I wrote out draft after draft as I just didn’t have the words to say it was just so so sad. Eventually I felt I had written the most respectful and comforting words I could manage and I sealed them and posted them.
Three days later I travelled down to my mum’s in preparation to drive up to Humberside in the morning for the funeral. I was traveling up with my mum and T her husband, we left at 6.30am as it was a 3 1/2 hour drive.
The day dawned with a beautiful blue sky, and I felt glad for J that her send off would be sunny and bright.
Driving up the country I felt relief to be out of my normal routine, away from where I should be. The very idea of routine worried me these days as I was predictable- at work for a certain time, leaving at certain time. Predictable made me feel very uncomfortable.
We arrived in time and found a local florist and brought a beautiful bouquet of sunflowers and white roses, it didn’t feel right to get sombre flowers, we wanted J to have something bright and beautiful as she had been.
Arriving at the crematorium, we stepped outside and found a group of friends and family already gathered waiting for the service to begin. It was a beautiful place, with gardens of roses and fountains which were sparkling in the sunshine.
As per J’s parents request no one was wearing black, this was a little ironic as J had worn black all the time, we had joked when she got engaged that her wedding dress would be black lace. (It wasn’t, her wedding day was the first time I had seen her dressed up and not wearing black, she looked stunning).
We hugged and exchanged sad words until we were called to come in.
The service was brutal, although the room was filled with flowers and the songs reflected nature and love the room felt cold, the loss of J was weighing heavily on everyone and the poignancy of the timing cut like a knife.
The vicar that took the service had married J to D just 3 years earlier and then christened their son only 16 months ago. He too could not contain his tears and his voice wobbled as he went through the service and described what a brave and strong young woman J had been to the room.
After the service we all filled out and everyone was crying and hugging. I saw J’s parents and seeing the sadness in their eyes cut like a knife. Seeing D, J’s husband try to comfort them was worse.
I hope you never have to say goodbye to a friend like this, it takes a piece of your heart forever. How can life be so unfair J was gone, and yet M was walking around free.
©2016 C xo