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Birthday - Without You

2016. március 03. - Andrea Lung

Written by Andrea Lung, MA Counseling
Translated by Sylvia P. Farkas

My dear Sweetheart,mamakez.jpg

Where did you go? Where did you disappear so suddenly/ all of a sudden? I know, you told me a hundred times, sometimes laughing, sometimes angry,  that no one lives forever, we all have to leave one day. Even though you were keen on making me prepared for this day somehow I never believed you. I was sure that we both would remain for each other forever, it would be only others who die. You sometimes told me you were ready to leave, but I never believed you, since I knew how much you loved to live.  Well, in the end, I was right about that. You didn't even really want to leave when your name was called. You answered someone while  I was sitting quietly next to you in the hospital, holding your hand that  you do not want to leave, not yet. I do not know who you were negotiating with.  I do not know whether you saw me at all, whether you knew I was there beside you.  I think you fought not to  take the last breath while I was there with you. "Don't go" -  you said  as you were searching for my hand. Your body was still there with me, but your soul was already dancing with death. We just sat there and waited. No one understood. At noon, you enjoyed your lunch on your own.

I told you silently, saying it to myself, that you should go if you need to, I will make it somehow. I also told you, how much I love you. Silently, again, because we have never been emotional with each other. We often sat in silence, holding hands. Words are not for everyone. Every time I left I waved at you from the door  and said "Goodbye Sweetheart!". It showed how much I loved you. I loved to step back into your room because I knew you would be laughing. It always made my heart flutter. I did not want to hold you back, but as I sat next to you, I felt that you regained your strength, just because of me. I know how much you loved me. I sat there, looking at you thinking how terrible it is that one cannot  even die with honour. No curtain, no quiet room, but two honestly terrified roommates, me and you, and  you and death. I did not like that setting.  I kept telling you out loud that there was no need to worry, nothing was wrong. Now  I can tell you honestly that I was very scared too. I knew we would not get any more postponement.

I did not want to move away from you. You were there too when I arrived into this world, so I had to be there with you. I noticed you did not give up yourself easily. I was very proud of you. You even dared to face death. Yet somehow this was one of our most beautiful adventures in life. Dying is never a beautiful occasion, but if you love someone as much as we loved each other, then it is a great gift from fate to allow us to be together for the last hour of your life. It is a big deal. It is a journey that we can share, though we do not share the same destination. It is a bit like birth. It's just that instead of arriving somewhere, we leave. I am grateful  that you allowed me to join you for as long as possible. I've never seen this sort of agony before, and then suddenly I was there with you and watched you dancing in the middle of it. You always taught me everything. You even taught me when I did not even notice it. Now you taught me the greatest lesson as well. You taught me that dying is natural. Everyone fears it, but it really exists. We do not remain forever.  You were always right.

Then I got a phone call and I  had to go. They came for me quickly, all in black. They said we could see you now.  I pushed through the door because for me it was nonsense that you had died. But you were there, stretched out. That's how they call it in the old way, but it was no catafalque, since there were no flowers and no candles. There was nothing sublime. There was only the fact that you had died.  It was like as if you had been waiting for us in that  funerary room. It was not the place where I said good bye to you in the evening. I went to your old room to see you.  Just to be sure. Even your bed was gone. The others told me that after I left  you did not make a single move. I am relieved that I stepped back into your room once again to kiss your hand.  I do not know whether you realized it, but I put all my gratitude into that one kiss. You always said that one has to have a look at the dead.  One must say goodbye properly. They do not do any harm, and anyway, it is the living we have to be afraid of not the dead.  You know, I did not see a dead body. I saw you. Corpses generally make people shudder. According to horror movies dead people are scary. You were so beautiful, your face was flawless like a young girl's. I was watching you, fixing your hair and  wondering how much I look like you. I know it is selfish but I discovered my features in your face.  You introduced my own evanescence to me.

I was not allowed to spend a lot of time with you. Nowadays, one has to hurry even in a funerary room.  More people arrived, since many people passed away the night before. I still would have needed some more time to sit beside you. Just as we used to do it, simply, in silence. It is probably what hurts the most, that this is not possible anymore. I can even hear you saying "Oh, it's okay, what could we do? It is  no one's fault that so many died..." But if I had to bet, I would be certain that you chose a day when you could pass away humbly and  silently. Without making any fuss. That makes it easier for the children too. It is not good to cause any problems for anyone. But now I feel just as miserably helpless as when you lost me once when I was a little child, when I fell of the slide in that silly  jumpsuit, in which I was completely paralysed. You did not hear me yelling for you, but fortunately there were bigger kids there who ran after you to tell you. Now, I do not know where to look for you, who to ask for help, to make you aware of me. I do not know who to turn to for some comfort, who to complain to that I cannot find you, since so far it was you whom  I always told everything.

It's annoying when their reaction is "She was 92? What a long and beautiful life she had! Do not be sad!" They are such fools my Sweetheart! Not even 192 years would have been enough with you. I calculated that if we would double my age it would be still less than your age, though I am not a child anymore either. If you ask me, it's been exactly a month today that I'm not a child anymore. But of course, no one needs to know that, right?

I still cannot accept that you are no longer here. It is your birthday today and I cannot give you a phone call. Such a thing has never occurred before. I always knew where you were. This is the first time in my life that  I have no idea. Unlike the others, I did not even meet you in my dreams. I even felt a little bit offended by that.  Then I realized it would surely break my heart, so it's better we didn't. So I'm not angry, but  it would be nice to know where you are, because I cannot really handle this situation and  the explanation that you do not exist anymore is not enough for me. I sit here at the gate of the little world of ours as someone who has been unexpectedly evicted. Since you do not exist anymore, our own world does not either. True, I talk to you all day long, silently, as if I was some confused bloke, but  you know Sweetheart, it does not really change anything.  There are so many things I would tell you! For example, how much I hate it, when people tell funny stories about you . In past tense. It annoys me, since for me, you are still present.

Well, let's pretend that nothing happened. The TV- show that you like so much was on today.  The chairs are finally done too.  I'm sure you would like them. The apples are of course rotten again. They keep falling off the tree. There is nothing new actually. We had a heat wave for three weeks. Then  we had flooding caused by a lot of rain, then scorching hot weather again. Imagine, even sink holes appeared under some roads at many places as well. It's crazy, isn't it? Days go by very quickly, yet time somehow seems to stand still. Grief is very unpredictable. Reality  overcomes one so suddenly like a heat wave or a storm. What is the weather like on the other side? They say that everything is  perfect over there. That's why no one wants to come back to life.  What do you do all day? Can you get any custard cake over there? Are there any flowers? What about music? Who do you spend your time with? Or does time not exist there? Can you dance there? Anyway, where is over there actually?  Can you see me? Or hear me? Or did you forget me already? Well, I do not think so. Anyway,   until I hear from you again, or till you come for me again, I will surely think of you every day. This ridiculous situation will have an end one day and then, we gonna meet each other again. Meanwhile  I try to behave in a way that will not disgrace you.

Goodbye Sweetheart ... Happy Birthday!


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andrealung139165ff.jpgAuthor: Andrea Lung, MA Counseling
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