Tuesday, 11 October 2011

A Haunting October…

I've been wondering for some time now if it is good for one's sanity mental health to write in a public space, since it opens you up for criticism, scrutiny or a convenient channel for accounting for the actions of those in public offices or even pursuing matters one has little or no control over. 

Since, these are random pages from my notebook and I am, by nature a private person I shall slowly bare expose my soul. At times, the content in these pages may be brief and sobering, and other times emotional yet humorous and it is all meant to entertain. To remind us that we are not alone in this world. To put a smile on someone.  For I do laugh at myself. We have to somehow be able to do that right? 

So feel free to comment. We are all interconnected and in today's world without connectivity we certainly feel lost…abandoned and even angry that technology can (and will oft-times) fail us.

It is noted that procrastination is the thief of time. But all the stolen time since August (when I joined Blogger) could not have better prepared me for a more fittingly first post. It comes with the recent passing of Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple Computer. As the world continues to mourn publicly for Jobs, I am silently grieving for my bestie, Sherry-Ann La Rose. Ten years ago this month, she left this world without rhyme or reason. Quite dreadfully too. I still can't seem to comprehend what really transpired on that fateful day when she was discovered murdered in the Grand Barbados Resort. Just two months shy of her 30th birthday.

I try not to imagine the graphic details of her being found by some unknown person. Try not to imagine what was really happening in that moment when she crossed over. You see, I was the closest person to Sherry-Ann. Her mother reminded me of it too, when she asked me to do the eulogy at her funeral. Strange. How strange it was for me to be standing at a podium with her embalmed body just beside me and, rambling about inconsequential things that now seem rather important.

I can't exactly remember when we became best friends. Even though, we grew up together, she was first best friends with two of my cousins. She was three years older than me when we were kids and teenagers and in those years, I suspect the gap was perhaps too wide for "holding secrets" and talking about boys. I don't know, but I remembered we were inseparable for a number of years during our naïve and reckless early 20s.
I smile now at the memory of our similarities; like the wine color lipstick that was our statement make-up and our preferred hair color of golden brown. Yet, somehow we had different preferences in boyfriends. Sherry dated Asian guys and I had a liking for tall mixed geeks. What opposites. It was the one thing we never had to worry about. The greatest privilege in our friendship I think was that we understood each other. She got me and I her. We worked, rented and got into mischief together. The bond was tight.

But then unexpectedly, I was knocked up. I had given up the dance floor for a rocking chair and singing lullabies. Talk about a 180. I think Sherry was mad at me at the time, for she didn't like my boyfriend. But I reckoned she recognised that my life was changing. Although we weren't in constant contact during my pregnancy, we stayed connected through telephone and by the occasional visits. But truth be told, I was in hiatus. I had retreated.
The last time Sherry and my family really got together was at my Cousin Maureen's wedding reception in July 2001. My daughter was five months old and Sherry and I were back to our old selves…tricksters indeed, making mischief at the wedding tables; eating out the guests' cake slices and laughing silly. Perhaps that's the beauty of true friendships; when you can grow apart for a while but whenever you do reconnect, it's like no time has passed at all. If I had to choose one memory of Sherry from my album, it will be the one from Maureen's wedding reception.
I didn't see Sherry for two months after that day, but we talked extensively about the wedding. Then one humid evening in early October she visited me. It was brief and I can't recall what we talked about, but she seemed happy, yet somewhat distracted as if her thoughts were elsewhere. For the first time I didn't read her. It was odd. The balance was off, but I ignored it. Then two weeks later I heard of her passing.

I am haunted by that last visit. I realised that it was your final goodbye. The brutality of your death still stuns me today and it comes to me at odd times throughout the day. I still have a sense of shock that it transpired at all. But they say that when you die young you will remain forever beautiful. I believe that. I have to. Someday we’ll be dancing in the heavens, but in the meantime I’ll take comfort in Steve Jobs words to the Stanford graduates of 2005: "Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart." (Stanford, 2005)
Rest in Peace Bestie. You are my sister. That much is true. A family beyond DNA. Losing you has allowed me to appreciate my other friendships and relationships even more.
                    This one's for you doll...
So how do you feel about death? Do you sometimes ignore that voice...
Our intuition? 
Have you lost someone too?
Do you believe that the month of October is truly haunting...? 
What with halloween coming up and all? 
Let me know your thoughts.

18 comments:

Carlene said...

i have heard that say alot (the month of October is about death) my sister also has the notation that something bad would happen to her in October but i dont believe that not for on second...after all the month of October is my birth month and as i always say "Libra's rock"...i believe that when death is ready for you it comes, like a theif in the night it comes, without cause or reason...just like your friend it came and took her withour warnng, maybe she knew and her last vist was to tell you what sh felt... maybe thats what it was she ignored that inner voice and tried to beat the odd..no one can truely prepare for that but i do believe that sometimes people get that sick sense... i personally do no believe the myths about halloween...i believe that its just a bunch of sick stories that persons with a lot of times on their hands made up to scare the life out of persons that chose to believe it. Noone can know the thoughts of your bestie on that day but from what i have read seems like so was prepared one way or another!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Wen your blog was beautifully written.And I am a believer in (writing is good for one's mental health) Not forgetting the physical side for one's well-being.
Times like this help us remember what precious Gift life is to humanity.ok let me say that I thought you ladies would never get over that lipstick colour (laughing).And yes my october has never been the same.Haunting and unsolved.My view on death it is not a Choice .... Love life

WensNotebook said...

Hi all,
Blogger is having some issues--not all the comments being posted are being logged. Any troubleshooting ideas anyone?

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Jillian said...

Although i can nonchalantly pass off the reading of this blog with a 'Nice reading Wens", or "What a touching story", i am compelled to write from the heart. We've all experienced the death of someone or something which consciously or unconsciously and inevitably leaves a microbe of despair forever etched on our hearts or in our mind. How do we ever get over and is it even possible? Time heals all wounds!!! Sure?.... It's the memory i think. If we were to forget the memory of that person, then time could heal by morning i guess. Unfortunately it doesn't work that way......God has a better plan I think....out of this, my consolation is derived. HE always knows best and sometimes it's good to sit back and trust that he shall do what needs to be done. So why then did Sherry have to be taken in such a cruel manner? Can anyone who believes in HIM, believe that HE would allow such a thing to happen? Where lays the consolation then? IT'S WITHIN SELF!!! If u are still questioning, then u have not found SELF!!!.... As for the month of October and the 'haunting' connotation which is frequently attached to it, blame it on Halloween, and you know what, blame Halloween on the history of witches and warlocks as their community ( history would recall) was most vibrant and 'expressive’ in the month of October, hence, it is recognised as it is.....Because Sherry was more than a friend to someone who i now hold dear, her memory shall forever live on in Wendy's heart and now in mine.....RIP!

Anonymous said...

Well written Wendy. Death is life's design or greatest mystery, all wonder when, where, or how it will happen. I'm sorry about your friend, that's one way no one should die.
Also, I commend you for keeping her memory alive whereas most people would move on ( out of sight, out of mind). Have you wondered if you had not deviate from the pack, would you have also suffered the same fate? Everything happen for a reason. After a loss we stop and reflect on the 'what if , I should of'. HE has other plans for you.
I lost my father just shy of four years. He was the first man, love and protector in my life. When I speak of my memory of him I ask the very same questions ' I should've , if only '. As I ask these question over and over again, I've come to realize that he ( my dad ) is still with me in little ways. He left me his love and that has no question.
The month of October has become a shadow of what it really is. It should be about honoring the life of ones passed, not the glorifing of death and horror. Live life, love it because it's only borrowed time use it well....
EF

Bob Saget said...

Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends. ~Richard Bach

Anonymous said...

Hi Wendy....truly an emotional story. Death is a part of life. The bible say its appointed unto men once to die and after death there will be judgement. In fact death is really the beginning of life. So we all should not only live for this life but for the life to come.

As to October being the month of death...or haunting I do not believe that. A person shot can call so to speak in any month. The key thing is to be ready. I close by saying the famouse adage" Live everyday , like it your last.

browngirl said...

Well I've never loast anyone that close to me (god forbid) but I can say I felt yout pain in this pc. I've never really had any experiences as well based on October being haunted and also love horror movies. Wens, all I can see is times heals all wonds..Great job on your first post!

Marlene said...

A good expression of your feelings. Do continue to explore all that is around you.

Wens-Notebook said...

Thanks guys, I will definitely explore this further. Noted! Muah

Anonymous said...

I don’t believe that the month of October have any significant in relation to haunting, or death. It is all a promotion by the business society to help sales through the year. I have come up with reason because there is some form of activity in each month of the year that only benefits the business society. for example, Valentine, Easter, emancipation, independence, Christmas to mention a few. In that light I believe if people think October is haunted will then it is, but to me I have no desire in trick a treating of wearing any hilarious costume

Hiliare said...

Your month of October is my November. One year ago on Monday (22nd)I lost my brother to crime. He was shot 21 times. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Coming to terms with this has been difficult; it still seems unreal. But we need to keep the good memories alive and move on. Your words have touched me. Please continue writing.

Wens-Notebook said...

Thanks Hiliare for sharing your pain. So sorry to hear about your brother. But I truly think too that we have to remember them by doing small things. Whether that is talking or writing...I believe that they are around us. And that 1st post was me letting Sherry know that she is gone but will never be forgotten.

Dennise said...

Wens ... writing soothes the pain, keep blogging as you continue to heal.

Serjio said...

Sorry about the way your friend died. As for October being a haunting month ... I cant be inclined to believe that, because i was born in October. I believe bad things can happen anytime. If it were the other way I would plan and prepare for October specifically lol. This story was touching and emotional ... i appreciated reading it the most.

Scott said...

Wendy...I see the closeness you had with Sherry...
Only when these things happen, do we really appreciate the time shared with someone..
As you have shared your thoughts with us...We see how important it is to stay in contact with the ones we care about..
-ST-

Ne said...

Really great write up Wen. Your blog brought back memories to me. I also lost persons in my life who meant a lot to me. It really does not matter what is the colour of your skin, how tall or short you are, what age, death is a journey we all have to travel. Some of us go on that journey before others . This is why we should all live in harmony and respect one another. Live life to love, not hate nor pull down.