sometimes, we encounter beings that make us better for being in their presence. when they leave us, the world wobbles on its axis, and we hope it never resettles. at least when the world is upended we don’t have to face real life without this thing that we loved so much. it is a bleak, dreary and dreadful thought. but if you meet a being that was sent to make you better, your challenge is to not be worse off after they leave.
Sometimes feeling better feels like a betrayal. How can you claim you loved them if you manage to be ok without them?
I also understand that not getting better, not being better, is a betrayal.
If this person or thing that came into your life is a key, then a door was unlocked in you.
And after the being departs, its still your door. And all the things you learned in its opening, are still your lessons.
More importantly, all the opportunities that flew in through that door are yours to grasp.
To not grasp them is to disrespect the life of that being.
I’m not saying everything happens for a reason. The fact that they do doesn’t change the way your stomach closes in on itself every time you remember that you can’t talk to them anymore.
And I’m not saying you can talk and they’ll hear you wherever they are. The fact that they can does not undo the gaping hole created every time you say their name but can’t touch them.
All the things we say can’t ever cover over the pain that comes in death’s wake.
All I want is for my being to come back. All you want is yours.
Cry when people thinks its inappropriate. Death is inappropriate. It is the only thing that even after years of preparing, can still surprise you. Can still suck up all the air in the room.
Seek out unhealthy coping mechanisms
Do not stay in the wilderness forever
You don’t just owe it to them. You owe it to yourself. They came here to help you fit together some of the pieces of the puzzle that is yourself. Don’t give up on yourself. What would their work have been for if you do? All in vain. And that makes your words hollow.
One day in a parking lot I found a mawga, flea infested, loud, demanding little cat. I named him pepito and proceeded to love him more than I have loved any animal in my life. I loved him more than I loved most humans. He was a fighter. When I found him he was almost dead- he lived. He broke his leg and was almost ripped up by dogs. He lived. He was always happiest to see me. When he was sedated and I came into the room he woke up, for me. He slept on my chest and interrupted all my work days by walking across my laptop and sleeping on the keyboard. He didn’t follow instructions. He played with dogs three times his size. He terrorised dogs three times his size. He let me lay my head on his scrawny belly and listen to him purr as I tried to sort through the things I wasn’t ready to share with my mother and friends. He ate when I ate dinner. He broke my face basin. He scratched my arms and grudgingly allowed me to bathe him. And I loved him fiercely. In the year and a half since I knew him I applied to and was accepted into my Masters programme. I did my first vlog, a thing I have thought about and feared for years. I started talking to my mother like an adult. I learned to swallow disappointment for the sake of tasting chances. And I relearned how to do that from watching him. I know he didn’t just come here accidentally. He was placed here. For me. To remind me of things I’d lost. To remind me that courage comes in many forms and though I may not be the girl I was, I was still here, and could try bravery my way. And I know many people think ‘its just a cat’, but who am I to tell God who and what to use to teach people.
He died on Monday May 7, 2012. And during his illness and after his death I went silent, went into hiding. Emails unanswered, interviews undone. I shut down because there were no words to express how afraid I was of what would happen if he died. The pain I would feel. I could not handle this.
But I have to remember that his presence brought me these opportunities, these interviews and emails. And while I still cannot talk about him without acting like a fool. I cannot let opportunities he helped me to find pass me by.
The good comes with the bad, and the test of what you learned in the good times is whether you capsize when the bad hits.
I won’t. That would be disrespect to a being I love so much.
Fighting back to normalcy with my memories clutched tight. That is the order of my days.
Pep, you were so many things to me. And reminded me of so many things about myself. Thank you for always thinking you could take that fight, no matter what.
And I can take whatever may come. Because that’s how you make it through life.
When things knock you down, Pep it up.
I love you