I thought I saw you so many times… Walking on the street, at the supermarket, driving, on the beach, ordering a drink at the bar, queuing at the bank desk, wearing a suit & tie, swimming trunks, t-shirt & shorts… But it was not you. They were only people who looked like you and not even that sometimes. Quite often it was only my unconscious imagination looking for you in every face because I needed to see you in three dimensions and moving around. My heart was beating really fast for a split second, my pupils were faltering and all my senses sharpened in order to freeze that moment and to freeze you in it. Then it felt like floating in the mists of time & space. The world’s noises disappeared and it was only you and me there. But the bubble exploded so fast! A car horn, a child shouting, some music around and the magic spell wrecked just like that. So disheartening… My stomach then writhed in a huge knot and I only wanted to get home to find you there, even if it was only in two dimensions.
You came to see me a few times afterwards and my surprise was even bigger then, the fright was deeper and I felt scared. It was fear for seeing you looking so real and even after wishing it so badly so many times before. During your visits you always looked happy, healthy, smiling, showing a beautiful tan, dress in black or wearing that military green t-shirt that I used to like so much. Once I handled the fear I was feeling so happy to see you and I kept asking you questions while crying and staring at you. You smiled and answered all my queries always, even with silences. I could understand everything. There was no room for blame but only for doubts and help petitions that you were dealing with so generously. That’s why I wanted to see you more often, because those encounters were helping me so much! I wanted to choose when to meet again, make an arrangement somehow but I didn’t know how to do it, where could I find you, what to do to make it happen. So I could only wait for you to surprise me again. It was also very painful anyway when you vanished. It was only emptiness left then, the illusion of a transient and non-sufficient moment and loneliness again until who knew when… And then grief and anguish settled free on my chest.
Time passes by and we keep changing on the way. I hardly see you now and you don’t come here anymore. I think of you a lot, nearly every day and I do know that you think of me too. We are both better than ever and very possibly everything that happened was supposed to happen that way so we could reach this point today. I know now that I could not make it this far without you, without you leaving. I also know that you had another path to follow which was actually far from my own. But what a bliss to meet each other during that time! We learnt so much and we gave so many things to each other! I would never be able to thank Life enough for all that.
This month you would turn 44. It is going to be 6 years now since you left. And, by the way, that military green t-shirt of yours that I used to like so much is still wandering around the drawers :)
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
speak to me in the easy way you always used.
Put no difference into your tone.
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed
at the little jokes we always enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort,
without the ghost of a shadow in it.
Life means all that it ever meant,
it is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute unbroken continuity.
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind
because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval,
somewhere very near,
just around the corner.
All is well.
(Henry Scott-Holland, 1847-1918, canon of St Paul's cathedral)