It’s been strange coming home to dear old Blighty (Ed: That’d be ‘England’ to you non-natives). The holiday was great: lots of relaxation and family time together. No need to rush out to work or panic over getting the kids ready for bed. No school-work to plough through and bedtime stories could go on and on. Just plenty of warm sunny days lazing in the pool or around the coast. We should do it more often.
Perhaps then that when I came home and read my email, the following took me by surprise. Well, actually, not completely surprise (stay with me, I’ll get to the point in a mo), but I’d hoped (Ed: she means ‘prayed’ but she won’t say it) that this wouldn’t happen. A good friend of mine, Daphne, took her own life on May 12th. Weeks before, we talked about the difficulties she faced at home (bullying from someone in her local village, lack of a job and the problems in her selling her house) and you know how it is, you do your best to listen, to be a good friend and help where you can.
One Thursday there was just her and myself talking, everyone had yet to arrive. We had a good heart to heart and I said to her: “No matter how bad it gets, please don’t do yourself in. We need good souls like you in the world.” Daphne said that she’d walk away before she did anything like that. I took her at her word.
A few weeks later and she kindly gave me a bracelet. A lovely silver one made up of bright silver squares. “Something to remember me by,” she joked – her eyes alive with her usual humour. We talked about the usual stuff and parted company. That was the last I saw of her.
Daphne was a kind soul. Someone of great intelligence, understanding and humour. She had many stories to tell (the one about the missile base – yes, really!! – still makes me laugh) and…. and I don’t know what else to put. I only saw her at group meetings but we’d always gravitate towards each other. Partners in crime if you will. I – like the rest of the group – will miss her.
It’s funny, if she’d moved away and I’d never seen her again, that would be okay in someway. I’d know that she was still around and (hopefully) enjoying whatever she was doing. With death, well, unless there is an afterlife, I know I won’t see her again.
Perhaps it’s melodramatic, but the world seems less bright withour her.
[ Today’s lyric: Fall At Your Feet by Crowded House ]