Death is something I’ve rarely experienced. In my 18 years I have only ever attended three funerals – my uncle Ronnie died not long after I began high school, my next door neighbour and my adopted grandmother, Sybelle, died when I was 11.
It feels like I never properly experienced death until last week, though, when my family and I said goodbye to a lifelong friend and extended member of the Wallace Clan – David.
Cancer is something that has increasingly upset me within the last year, so watching the effect it had on David made me understand how difficult it becomes for someone to live their life completely at peace.
When cancer took Sybelle from us some years ago I recognised that it was a disease that not only caused grief, but was completely unpredictable and created situations where, for a while, no one knew the outcome.
I was not prepared for David’s death. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, not just yet.
I will always have fond memories of David. He used to phone the house an awful lot – although he only lived next door, it was always convenient for him to ring round if he hadn’t seen my dad for a while. If I answered the phone, we would sit and have a blether for a while, talking about all sorts of things. He read the column, so it is important to me that I dedicate one to him.
Our families have always been close, because we have lived together for so long. I’ve lived in the same house since I was two.
When my Uncle Ronnie and Sybelle died I never gave myself the chance to visit them one last time and tell them how much I loved them. Since David’s passing, I tell them everyday – not in person, but up to the sky, hoping that somewhere up there, they are listening.