I have needed to let go of a fair few things since leaving London and a few have been harder than others. Letting go has been a thing in my life I have struggled with, I get involved with people, things and others lives and once I am in if I have to let go it is incredibly difficult. Now has come the time when I need to let go of something or in this case someone else. There is no way to explain this without it causing me or the person I am writing about pain but I feel it must be written. Brace yourself…
One of my best friends is dying. They have been suffering for the past few years with an incurable disease known as Amyloidosis. It attacks the body in a very vicious and hideous way and my friend has been fighting this disease as much as physically possible but their body and even them are tired and I believe they are ready and even inviting death into their life. As sad as that is I have to respect them for fighting as long as they have and going through what they have. Neither they nor I know exactly how much time they have and I know the day will come and that day will be filled with grief. Did I mention I have never met this friend face to face? We have never shared time in a cafe, or time in a bar but we have shared time, this is where we flashback..
The year is approximately 2002 and a lone geek sits at his computer hanging around in an IRC channel generally chatting, he’s not trying to pick up girls or do anything special, he’s just typing, putting his persona into a screen full of text via the keyboard. Some may say he is trying to escape from his current life or maybe he is lonely either of these explanations are possible but irrelevant. He starts talking to the channel in general and trying to make friends, he does not have many real life friends and yes there is sue escapism in this digital world. Over the next few week and months he get’s known in the channel and chatting to one person more than others. That geek was me and to be honest I cannot remember exactly how I got friendly with this person and exactly how they came to be one of my best friends but it happened. I remember exchanging e-mails with my friend and even them keeping me company as I sat through some very dull and boring days in some very dull offices, I won’t go into great detail but we really connected somehow. At times it felt like one of us was driving and maybe one operating the pedals every now and then one of us would reach for the handbrake to turn the conversation around or take a completely new tack. We had similar taste in music, similar sense of humour and somehow we both got to care for each other, they helped me through some very rough stuff and hopefully I was there once or twice to do the same. They have even said that they are loving my posts and living vicariously through me, I love this. I still send them the odd bit of writing I am unsure of because they know me probably more than most people and I get a reply.
It’s only a matter of time, but then it always is if you look at it in a certain way. We all go through life and people come into our lives and sometimes those people are taken away from us, we are all born and we all die so yes it’s only a matter of time. No matter how you look at it my friend is only 41 and they may not reach 50, I have had just one chance to meet them and when I tell people about this they find it difficult to believe. As you may or may not know on this trip I have been in Tasmania, this is where my friend lives, I suggested that if they had the energy that we take the time to actually meet face to face since I am on the other side of the world and technically in their neighbourhood. I was not shocked to receive the response refusing. You have to understand no matter how much I want to meet with my friend face to face and sit down with them for what would be the very first time I have to do one thing first and that is respect their wishes, so I stayed away. Some people I have told this story tell me that they would find this impossible but I understand that my friend does not want anything else to rock their world right now, they have enough to deal with.
So yeah think of me what you will about this, it’s my choice to respect my friends wishes, I cannot change the fact that sooner or later the disease and their body will give up. They mailed me just a few days ago telling me that their heart has decided to start playing a different rhythm to normal, slowly things are getting worse and I cannot blame them for feeling the way they do. The reality is this, I may not know when to say goodbye and I don’t want to before the time is due. They will always be in my thoughts and I will always be sad that our paths never got to truly cross.