I didn’t pick this music because of it being any kind of popular funeral favourite. Not until I read the comments on You Tube did I realise it’s use as a symbol of death. And that almost made me not use it.
Actually I chose it because my friend was a damn, fine guitarist and I wanted to use some music that I related to him.
It’s hard to put reasoning to the death of a friend. I know A’s suffering is over, and whatever you might believe about life beyond death, I have a fair idea of what he believed, and believe much the same for myself. He will be at peace now, no longer in the pain caused by the cancer.
But he was only three years older than me, and I’ve known him for over 30 years. His wife is a year older than me (I have known her for nearly as long). Too young to be a widow. His two kids are just getting their adult lives under way. And now it’s over. It’s just hard to see it all as fair for them. It’s hard to see it as fair for any of us who have lost a fantastic friend.
My friend died on Friday after a battle with cancer. He lives in a city I used to live in, but that has meant I haven’t been able to see him. My brother had let me know earlier in the week that A didn’t have much time left, so I was waiting… but it still hit me as a firm kick in the guts.
A was one of the good guys. Always. He was a lot of fun, he was very talented, he had a heart full of compassion and enthusiasm. I might not have always agreed with his views but I loved the way he was so passionate about what he believed. I always knew with A that it would be safe to give him my life for a week, and he’d take care of it. When I had what I might call a pretty skeptical view of most guys, I knew A was great.
We met in the fourth form. That’s Year Nine in nowadays education language. A’s best friend was my first boyfriend. To make things a little more interesting my best friend was A’s girlfriend at the time. Of course first romances hardly ever last and the four of us went our separate ways, although staying good friends in the same social groups through the local church. Unfortunately my first boyfriend couldn’t hear the word ‘no’ and so set about stalking me for many years. I have written about this in Stalked… But Still Hiding Some Of Me and more in my book Infinite Sadness.
It put my friendship with A in a difficult place, because he became the access point to information about me. But A was a good friend, we did a lot of music together and he wasn’t a friendship I wanted to lose. A went on a few years later to marry another good friend of mine, so there was another connection to me. That said, I am totally confident that A and his wife never compromised my safety. They did absolutely everything they could to dissuade a stalker who was not going to be put off.
To save you from a very long story, I will fast-forward a few years. The stalker was still persistent and actually on at least one occasion I had to sneak out the front door of A’s home while the stalker was knocking on their back door. They held him long enough for me to run to my car and take off.
Even though A and his wife did nothing wrong, never put me in danger, and actually were totally supportive of me, I have to admit that this stalking and some other things happening in my life at the time were literally doing my head in. I also came to the conclusion (probably unwisely) that I would never go back to A’s home. There was too much risk, and while I kept contact with A’s wife, who by now was working for the same company as me, I never went back.
And when I left that job, I decided to cut contact altogether. I decided to leave the city we all lived in, hoping that would end things. I wasn’t cutting contact with A and his wife because they had done anything to upset me but because the danger of the stalker accidentally getting information about me was too great. I also didn’t like my friends being put in this position. In my mind I basically ended the friendship with two very special people because I couldn’t see another way of being safe. We never talked about it, I simply left town. I was desperate to end something that was wrecking my life – the stalking.
Now? I feel a whole lot of things but find I mentally stop myself going too far with any emotion, I guess because I really don’t want to feel it. There’s a combination of anger directly partly at myself for deserting a friendship with both A and his wife that meant the world to me, but more so I feel angry with the stalker who cost me those friendships. A was a good person, as I said, one of the good guys (when I didn’t think too many existed) and his wife is a truly beautiful person. They never knowingly did anything to harm me. I know that what I did at the time was just about survival, and therefore I can try to forgive myself. But I lost out on their friendship. And that has re-activated the anger I feel to the stalker.
I also struggle with an odd co-incidence. When I was 14 years old, there were four of us. Myself, A, my best friend and the stalker. My best friend died some years ago in a car accident and actually that was the last time I saw A. I ran away from him because also there was the stalker. Now I even find it hard to say but the stalker and I are all that is left of that group. There are all sorts of ‘why’ questions circling in my head. They are impossible to answer.
The irony is that I know if I went to A’s funeral the stalker would be there too. And I simply couldn’t risk that, because I know it’s still not over for him.
It reminds me that stalking is never just a nuisance. And it’s never just a joke. People get hurt, and there is a price to pay for everyone involved. Mostly the experts say that when the target of the stalker is gone then the obsession also goes. This time it didn’t and yes, it hurts. Actually to be completely honest, this has done my head in this time. I actually thought I was through the pain the stalker caused and the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms but the past few days I have found myself right back in the midst of it.
I will get through this and meanwhile I am going to try to remember the good times, for there were so many with A. He had a way of making good times happen, and for that I am thankful.
“When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that
in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
- Stalked… But Still Hiding Some Of Me (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)
- Infinite Sadness (infinitesadnessorhope.wordpress.com)