i read somewhere that we actually remember the memory of the event rather than the event itself. that way it seems plausible that the memory itself would change its shape and content, much like the initial word in a game of telephone would be morphed into something completely different by the time the last person heard it. so, memories can’t really be relied upon, is what i gather from this concept. whether there is some scientific truth to that, i can’t know. i’m only a musician.
of course, i knew that grief would find me. i just didn’t realise the impact it would have on my life. neither could i fully understand the scope of it, its sheer size and its many poisonous tentacles. i wish i could give it a name, it would make it easier to address. it’s worth more than an ‘it’. but alas, ‘it’ it shall be.
when i returned home and started seeing people again, roughly a week after Barbara’s death there was an awkward presence that i hadn’t noticed before. like an empty shadow that followed me wherever i went. i couldn’t put my finger on it because i could only just manage to think.
funerals i had been to but i had only been to one wake before Barbara’s. i was in my third year of university so that makes me twenty one years old.
Barbara died at 2:11 am on friday morning. it was kind of like a movie scene. she was surrounded by her immediate family and her husband and although we were all devastated, there was a serenity in the room that i don’t ever remember feeling at any time before this moment. it was beautiful in the most cruel way.
i guess i should start at the end. the end of my sister’s life.
Barbara had been battling cancer for six years. she suffered, no, that’s not the right word, because she didn’t suffer, she chose to enjoy the last years of her life. she was diagnosed with anaplastic astrocytoma III.
here’s how she found out.
weird. that’s what my last name means. weird.
or strange. or odd. or unusual. or unorthodox. you get my meaning.
the thing is, each of these synonyms has a different kind of connotation yet for some reason, i tend to relate the most with ‘weird’. i guess it’s a weird choice. pun intended. somewhat.