Ever since I started my first diary around the age of 10 – a little blue book adorned with dolphins and complete with a lock – writing has been my refuge. My way of making sense of myself and the world around me, of venting frustrations, celebrating good times and, eventually, also sharing my stories with others.
Yet the past weeks have left me unable to write. I cannot find the words for what I’m feeling and writing about anything else feels too trivial.
Here, inside my little daily life bubble, everything goes on as usual. Outside, separated by distance and overpriced flights, family get-togethers, new babies, weddings and funerals pass me by.
This time, it’s the latter that has hit me and left me shaken. Family and friends can be visited at another time, newlyweds congratulated in other ways. But when a close friend passes away there is no later, just words unsaid and bittersweet memories. The should have’s and the could have been’s.
Between not being able to say goodbye in person and not being able to find the words, I’m left clueless about how to deal with this. And every time I read someone wishing “rest in peace”, I cannot help but think that my exuberant friend would have found that concept entirely too boring.
I know I’m not the only one feeling heartbroken and a little blindsided, but it would help a lot if the others were a little closer. It’s amazing to know that I have friends on all corners of the globe. Yet what use is it right now when the person I want to meet over a heavy heart and a bottle of wine is an ocean away?
I suppose, not always being able to be there is the price we pay for wandering out into the world and sealing friendships that span cultures, countries, and continents.
Still, I wouldn’t have it any other way.