I’d like 2016 to end now.
It seemed like 2015 was rough but 2016 really has taken the liberty of kicking me in the gut from time to time.
This time, it was the one year anniversary of a friend’s death.
Grief is one thing I still can’t wrap my head around. It seems like it holds you close when you least expect it.
Kamo was one of my closest friends and shortly before her death, I was planning to spend my 24th birthday in Jo’burg with her.
We had spoken the weekend before, discussed what we were going to do and how her life had been going. She was planning her 21st birthday.
I met her on Twitter, so of course I found out about her death while scrolling on my timeline.
I can’t explain what it’s like when shock enters your system. My heart began racing and my brain couldn’t even make sense of it all. Luckily, my colleague bundled me into an Uber as I cried all the way out. I came home and cried for her on the kitchen floor. I cried in my mother’s arms because I had just spoken to her. I had just spoken to her – this was a joke.
If anything, grief puts things into perspective. Like a slap to the face, it doesn’t give you a choice.
I have lost two close friends – both didn’t get to see 21. Each time I have felt a part of me break off.
Grief made re-evaluate my friendships, relationships and my goals. It made me realize that being the bigger person doesn’t mean getting walked all over or allowing bullshit to happen. That friendships that aren’t reciprocated -aren’t meant to be and that being able to grow means recognizing your own flaws.
And on July 21st, I went up Signal Hill to honour her life. Drank some fancy sparkling wine in a plastic cup and danced to 90s Lil’ Kim while watching the flickering city lights.
I think she’d be proud.