Thursday, 7 September 2017

A Tragic Wake-Up Call

Morning all,

As I start this blog post, it's currently 12.35am. I can't sleep. It's not because of pregnancy or the nerve numbing pain that's radiating in my spine right now. No, it's because I learned some tragic news today that has hit me in a way I wouldn't have thought.

An old friend that I went to school with has passed away. Now I admit, we were never that close. We were in two separate friends circles which from time to time would overlap. We hung out from time to time in a large group but she was always very warm and welcoming to talk to. She had an infectious smile and this bright energy. I don't think I know a single person back at school who disliked her. She just had one of those likable personalities. When we left school, I didn't have any more contact with her as our group of friends went their separate ways. After a couple years, I cleared out my friends list on Facebook and didn't think twice about unfriending her since we'd spoken in two years. She became just someone I went to school with. Someone I used to know.

Anyway, a few years later, after I'd move to the UK I learned that she had fallen very ill. Cancer. I couldn't believe it. She was always so active, healthy and full of energy. It was hard to believe she could ever fall that ill. She needed a bone marrow transplant and a lot of chemo to have a fighting chance. I wanted to reach out and offer her kind words and well wishes but it had been so long. It felt wrong. How do you just reappear in someones life, whom you've not spoken to in years, simply because you know they've got cancer. I couldn't do it. I didn't reach out. Instead I spoke to someone I'd been very close with high school who was still in touch and asked her to pass on my well wishes. I kept up to date with her fight via shared Facebook posts and articles in the local newspaper. I know her bone marrow transplant was almost fully successful and for a time she was in remission. I know that she fell ill again and had to have a second bone marrow transplant that was successful and her bone marrow was at 100% she was back in remission again. That was March this year. Her outlook was positive. Then this morning I wake up to see a post on Facebook that she'd passed. I was completely overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions. I cried. A lot. Cried for a woman I'd never been overly close with and hadn't spoken to in almost nine years. It's just too hard to believe she's gone. I spent the day angry at myself for not contacting her years ago like I'd wanted. Regret all the friends I've not spoken to in years. I messaged my friend, the one whom had passed on my well wishes years back. I apologized for falling out of contact and thanked her for always being such a wonderful friend to me. Turns out she and I were in very similar stages of shock and grief. We talked for a little while and after she went to bed, I carried on with life like I always have except this time with a heaviness in my heart.

Now here I am, writing this post because I can't shut off my brain. I've been so miserable lately. Feeling like my life has been falling apart in the process of building it up. That this pregnancy has taken so much away from me and out of me. But I have this pregnancy. I have my daughter. I have a loving partner and a home on the other side of the world to where I was born. That's so much to be grateful for. My friend had been ill for so many years that she couldn't really travel the world. As far as I know she had no boyfriend. I could understand her not wanting to grow an attachment to someone when she knew she might die. She never married, never had kids, never traveled the world or owned her own. She finished her university studies to become a nurse and instead of treating patients, she became one herself. From the moment she finished further education she was fighting for her life.

It sounds bad but her passing was a huge wake up call to me. I've been feeling so low lately and that I don't have much of a life due to being stuck at home most the time. But I'm alive. I have a wonderful family that's about to get even bigger. I may not have many friends that I see often, or a great job and degree but I still have a lot to be grateful for. I shouldn't be complaining about what I haven't got because I have so much less. My friend was the same age as me. Her life should've been beginning and it's cruelly been taken away far too soon. I want to stop being sad over what's missing in my life and just be grateful for what I do have. My family. I want to live for my friend. It may sound silly but her passing just reminded me how precious life is and to live it any way I can. I plan to do that. I plan to take the risks I've been to scare of taking. I'm going to appreciate every day no matter how hard it may be to get through. Admittedly it will be hard to do whilst I'm still pregnant but once Flynn is born, I plan on being reborn as well. Everything I'll do to improve me will be in her memory.

We may have never been overly close.... but I'll never forget her.

Until Next Time,
Alli xo

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