People that know me well know that I am not overtly religious, although I do feel that in such a huge universe, we can’t possibly understand what is behind and/or beyond and I therefore remain open, and often find comfort in the term ‘spiritual’. I believe in fate as it seems to have come to fruition on more than a couple of occasions. I believe in there being powers to our heart and soul that we do not understand.
And on some occasions, I seem to have a sort of unexplained foresight, a ‘feeling in my waters’, a sense that can’t be explained but likely has a scientific explanation. I’m not making much sense I know, but I’m hoping you’ll know what I mean.Two nights ago I posted at 4am about my overwhelming sadness for my Aunt and how she must feel at not being able to make her son, my little cousin, better. I reminisced a bit about our childhood together, and I talked of not being able to sleep. I didn’t sleep for a while after posting and the next day I just knew there was something I wasn’t totally aware of. That lunchtime, for the first time in lord knows how long, my brother and I met up for lunch, the first time in months we’d just spent time together just the two of us and very random. He invited me to join him for a lunch break and we chatted about our cousin.
After lunch I got a call I knew I was going to receive that day. My 30 year old cousin had passed away. He battled cancer like an absolute champ for nine months, and certainly given it hell, but was now at peace.
He was surrounded by immediate family at the end, and in some random circumstance, my brother and I were together as it happened too. My Aunt had been called in early that morning.
Maybe I just ate something that disagreed with me, maybe I’m in a weird place in my menstrual cycle which kept me awake. I’m sure there are hundreds of reasons scientifically minded people could enlighten me on as to why I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t stop thinking about the family a few hours before. Or why for no real reason, my brother and I met up for lunch like we did. If you are one of those people, I respect your logic and often search for it, but on this occasion you can leave me be.
Because in this case, I choose. I choose to believe that somehow on his late night, in hours when fewer people are around, perhaps he would have been able to sense that I was thinking of him, that he wasn’t remotely alone. That although we weren’t there, my brother and I were somehow present in some way. That maybe if he had any worries about letting go and being at peace, perhaps, unconscious thoughts of mine could reach his in the middle of the night to let him know that everything was ok.
Christ, I know how that sounds. Bloody arrogant for one thing, he had a lot of people in his life, and he would most likely have chosen someone else to spiritually link with! And my grief is nothing compared to that of his parents, his siblings.
I was brought up with an extremely healthy view of death (in my opinion), we talk often and fondly of those no longer with us. We keep them firmly in our minds and hearts and as part of our lives. I think of my Grandad every time I make a roast dinner, I can hear him say ‘good on you girl’ every time the roast potatoes go nice and crispy. I phoned my Mum just last week because I was rolling out marzipan for a fruit cake, and suddenly the combination of marzipan and the wooden chopping board created a smell that took me right back to my Nana & Grandads house. Nana used to use a lot of marzipan. My Nan I think of every Good Friday, I imagine her infectious laugh as I have a glass of port and make the same joke about her perhaps being back this Easter Sunday, every year. It’s the kind of joke she would have made herself! My Auntie Win had this distinctive laugh which my eldest daughter now occasionally does and it takes me right back to being in her flat. I think of my old neighbour George whenever I play a board game with my kids. I laugh remembering my Great Uncle Jack whenever I see the English dishes on an Indian restaurant menu, thinking back to him insisting on having chicken and chips at my Dads 60th birthday meal.
And those are just a few! A few people that were in my life that I loved and lost but will never really leave me. I like to think of them all watching over us, it gives me a huge amount of comfort to think that they could see what happened in my life, that they could see my husband, laugh at my kids antics the way they would have done if they’d have met them. Maybe my cousin can tell them, our Auntie Win will definitely be waiting there for a big hug for him, they were very close.
He’s no longer with us, but I will see him and think of him often. When I buy gingerbread men from a bakery as we used to as kids. Every time I watch the girls run round trying to pop the bubbles coming out of the wishing fish clock in the arcade, a feature he loved so much he did a road trip with a friend specifically to show them it! Bachelors super noodles, something neither of us could get enough of, chicken, or sometimes BBQ beef if we fancied a change.
So whether it was foresight, or I sensed it, or part of my sub conscious was reaching out to him at the very end without me knowing, I find comfort in it. It helps me believe that he is looking down on us all now, pain free and happy. Most likely trying to tell me I can sleep now! So I’m going to try to. And for him, and all the people no longer on this earth with us able to do so themselves, I’m going to try and honour them all by living to the fullest, making this Christmas as magical as possible for Mini Pea and Mooper. My cousin was kind, generous and always smiling, a bloody good example to us all.