A friend of mine died during the "holidays".
She was someone who was a mate probably before I knew how to focus my newborn eyes.
By this stage of our lives, we were on the sidelines of each other's lives mainly; as family friends often become. Where you know the big happenings, have cheesy dances to old school tunes, cheeky memories, you help out each other out through kak or confusing times, you slot back into seeing each other so easily, when you do. But the two of you don't need to be there daily.
It becomes monthly emails and always barracking for the other.
I watch what her family now goes through as they mourn & deal with this. And that is the most painful bit.
Because there is not much you can do, but watch them have to process it, realise & accept gradually that she is not so close for that call or quirky remark or bitch or laugh or love, she's lost from their every minute.
They search out new support systems without dishonouring her. No one wants to close the gap that she's left, but you cannot stand still forever. But how can you not.
She & I did a lot of bantering.
She may have published a very dirty book with a lot of my very dirty stories in them.
It is "funny" though, when I am having a kak low moment & get that not-so-awesome glance into a nemesis doing so much better than me in life and my jealousy gets the better of me, when I realise I am way below benchmark, and might even be going backwards (downwards?) I now realise that none of that really does matter in "the end".
People said she didn't have an easy life, there are some stories that get me so worked up that she had to go through them, she definitely fought her way through some kakness. But to see how many people are heartbroken, who cherish her and still miss her daily, to realise that even if she was on my sidelines she's left a gap.
All those people in her daily life wouldn't even have the first clue who I was, or that she was important to me, and I watch their stranger comments and am awed by their love and respect for her.
She was so incredibly loved by those people that did love and know her – that there was so much importance to her living. Even if her life was not playing fair.
Even if you only have one friend, or only your family loves you, even if every career option you have tried for has failed, you're unemployed lying on a couch out of options & have only eaten stale rice in a coupla days, didn't manage your level of study, you ended up in a much smaller world than your teenage self dreamt of, or your arch nemesis is one step away from ruling the world while you are considering applying for the train driver job opening…
....none of that really matters.
It's sad that death is what has to bitchslap us back to this reality and this simple lesson. Particularly me. Particularly now.
To stop the comparing. The vying. The struggle to achieve goals that actually are obsolete in the end. To show up folk who aren't worth it. To keep pushing for a path that won't lead to my objectives, but it is the most obvious, and always makes for great conversation & some awing. That it is about quality, not quantity.
There is value to life that we cannot comprehend. Even when your life gets dented along the way.
So, for today, ease up on yourself.
I have to go finish a job application to be a train driver.