Happy birthday Angel!
Beautiful wasn't she? It's her birthday on Saturday, she would have been 49, although she'd have still looked 35 and her joyful spirit never did get much further than 17, even though her body made it to 47. We should be sitting on bar stools laughing our heads off whilst drinking Bloody Marys after stuffing ourselves with Calamari - but this year, she'll be hangin' out with Ali and John, Pete, Margaret, Richard and the rest of our mates in Heaven. If there's any justice, St. Peter will be mixing cocktails and they will be smiling down on the tear stained faces of those of us who mourn them.
Grief's a bugger. It's been 18 months since we lost her and 15 months since our dear friend Ali went (at 44 for crying out loud!) to join her. We're making a fist of re-grouping, of making new memories, of moving forward. There have been new babies & grand-babies, new jobs, travels, parties (a couple of truly memorable ones that she would have LOVED) but still, on my birthday a couple of months ago, the special poignancy which comes from us all being together and having a great time, serves to magnify the enormous losses and those of us closest to them both were overwhelmed by the memories and sobbed - not pretty sobbing either - snot ridden red eyed sobbing - and in public!
As the memories of those last terrible months as her body disintegrated and the dreadful pain made her withdraw from us all, are replaced by the myriad of happy memories, there are days, weeks sometimes, when I smile when I think about her. When I can see a red car without looking to see if she's driving it, or hear certain songs without breaking, when I see a pigeon and can hear her saying 'flying rats Hel!' but I am never, ever, going to stop missing her. In a way I embrace that as testament to the fact that I truly loved her. What I wouldn't give to be re-creating the picture above. I'm hugging her so hard I look like I'm strangling her! - but as it is, all I can do is this - and wish her as happy a birthday wherever she is, as those we shared when she was still here on Earth.
Thanks for listening. x