Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Day 23 - How would you love me in this?

You wouldn't tell me to hold it in, this pain, this love. Big emotions didn't frighten you. You would open up your arms like a harbour to hold the swirling waters, stay present while I cried. When I cried about my mum's death or the past or the contents of my mangled brain, you would hold it all. 'I've got you,' you would say. Perhaps you've still got me, now. When it felt like everything might fall apart, I would say, 'keep hanging in there' and you'd mimic hanging from a cliff by the tips of your fingers with mock-terror on your face. You would make me laugh and feel grateful at the same time. I couldn't scare you away. You weren't going anywhere.

Anything I needed was ok by you. If I needed to talk, you would stay up all night listening and if I needed space and rest, you would happily make yourself scarce. Too scarce that last week as it happened. Why did it have to be that week that you went?

But you'd tell me not to torture myself about that as well. You wouldn't want me to make things worse with all these what ifs. Things are bad enough without me heaping guilt onto the fire. You were always so kind. You would want me to be kind too.

You would tell me to get some sleep and to eat properly. You would ask me to bake some flapjack even though you can't eat it anymore. 'Don't stop eating your delicious flapjack just because I died,' you would say. 'It's so nutritious. It will keep you going.' You would send me soothing music to listen to and tell me to watch Neighbours even though it's a ridiculous habit. You would, of course, tell me to 'keep buggering on' or KBO for short. You would bring me a crossword to do to stop my mind from going down unhelpful roads and you would write me messages saying, 'send me a poem, Writer Beverley'. You would love that I'm writing my way through this.

You wouldn't mind that I'm blurting out the contents of my soul on the internet. It wasn't your style but you loved my writing and you would be touched by the comments of support, pleased that through my words, I can reach out to others and touch their hearts as well.

You would take me for walks in beautiful places that soothe my soul and you would tell me to spend time with the people who make me feel better, who make me feel good about myself. And you would tell me to have no care for people who upset me. At the funeral, one of your friends told me that something he'd learned from you is that you always left the party without saying goodbye. He liked the way you did your own thing. You left this earth in the same way, completely unexpectedly, with no warning, no goodbyes. You would encourage me to do what I need to do to feel ok. To be on my own if I want to and to duck out of social engagements if I can't handle them.

The last time we went out you made up a hand signal. Four finger taps on your palm meant 'I need to go now,' three taps was 'let's go soon,', two taps was 'let's make love'. I did two taps just for fun and you pulled me to you at the party and said, 'Really? Right now?' And then we left. We could only do so much socialising. We went home to be alone together with our love.

I will remember that when I'm out and it all gets too much now, to say to myself, 'I've done well, but it's time to go home now, back to the harbour of my memories of your love.' And you will welcome me home and make me turmeric tonic and tuck me up in bed.