Moving On In Life

Four years ago I stood before you as a stranger. A few months later I stood before you as a best friend and towards the end, I stood before you as a soul mate. Today I stand before your coffin and your family as a griever.

‘Ash, I am not sure how to tell you this but Ryan died this morning…’ my heart stopped, hands shook and my eyes started to cry. I went into shock straight away and my body turned into jelly. It felt like I went from a lovely dream at Monti Casino to my worst nightmare. ‘Camilla; that cannot be right. I was with him four days ago and he was fine. You are lying!’ my voice was shaking and I could not get all my words out. I put the phone down and called his family hoping to hear Ryan pick up the phone, ‘Please tell me what I have just heard is not true. Tell me he is not gone. TELL ME!’ there was a pause on the phone and I knew it was true. ‘Ash, Ryan was run over this morning. He was crossing the road and got knocked over. Rachel called the ambulance and by the time they got there he was in a critical condition. He had broken every bone in his body on impact but he was still alive. They rushed him to the hospital but had to resuscitate him a couple of times in the ambulance. When they got to the hospital, it was too late, he was gone. I am so sorry but I have to go. I will keep you updated about the funeral plans as soon as I know anything.’ My world came to an end. What was I going to do without my best friend? He had a very hard life. He survived seven open heart surgeries, a back problem and he was taken away from us in such a brutal, inhumane way, culpable homicide. Rage took over my body and emotions thus causing me to exploded like a volcano. I could not feel anything but anger and I thought this is how the rest of my life was going to be like.

 ‘Dear friends and relatives. It saddens me to say that my dearest brother, Ryan, was killed this morning in a car accident. His funeral will be on Friday at 11 am. I hope to see you all there.  Regards: Rachel and family.’  To go or not to go, this was the question that was stuck in my head for two days solid.

‘I have never gone to a funeral before. My first one I go to should not be an eighteen year old friend of mine. I understand that life is unpredictable but this goes beyond that. This is the type of story you hear in the news papers and never think that it will happen to you let alone your best friend. This is just damn wrong.’

‘I understand where you are coming from my angel. Funerals are not easy but this one for your first funeral is going to be unbearable. You must do what makes you feel comfortable and what you want to do. You don’t have to do anything that you don’t want to. Ryan would understand that where you are coming from and he knows that you are there for him whether you go or not. To watch an older person gets buried is hard but watching a young boy, a son of a living mother, it is indescribable.’ My Oumie always knows what to say to me. She carried on telling me how the funeral works and the sequence it goes in but I zoned out. I thought about Ryan and all the times we spent together. He was always a positive person and looked on the brighter side of life.

‘Oumie, Ryan would want me to go to his funeral. I know that he knew I was always there for him and always will be but he would want me to see that he is at peace and that he is fine. As scared as I am, I need to go to get a sense of closure.’ And that is exactly what I did. I called a friend of mine and we decided to go together. Every night before the funeral I had nightmares. I saw Ryan and his sister walking across the road. He had one of his permanent smiles on his face, one of the things I loved the most about him. They started to walk and I heard the cars starting to rev their engines. One, two, three and the drivers took their foot off the break and went forward without looking in front of them. I heard Ryan screaming Rachel’s name and as she turned around she heard a thump and saw her baby brother flying through the air. He landed like an egg cracking into the pan and just like the yoke breaks sometimes, his body breaks open and his blood was everywhere and then I wake up. I had this dream for three days in a row and before I knew it Friday arrived.

Driving in the car I tried to calm myself down and kept telling myself to breath. I pictured Ryan holding my hand and telling me that everything is going to be ok and flash me one of his big smiles. I was hoping that we would get there and this would all be one big joke and he would pop up from behind a tree and say, ‘got yah,’ but he didn’t. Instead we drove into the cemetery and saw the family and friends with a loved one in one hand for support and tissues for their tears in another. I took one breath ad opened the car door.

‘Ash give me your hand and I promise I will not let go until we get back into this car.’  Kayla is more than a friend to me, she is like my sister. I would not have been able to go without her.

‘Kay, what would I do without you?’ I took her hand and held it tight. We walked up the stair into a hall. On the walls was names of people that had died and their loved ones contributed money to the cemetery in their name. As I looked to my right I saw the room where they kept the coffin before the ceremony. I tried not to freak out; Kayla held my hand even tighter and mentioned that I have to breathe.

‘Ladies and Gentleman, may I please have your attention.  Will you all be so kind as to make a path way between yourselves so that we can bring the coffin in.’ they opened the wooden doors and I heard the sound of the wheels rolling on the floor. I tried but I couldn’t look at the coffin. The thought of him being in a small wooden box freaked me out a lot. I felt the first tear fall from me eye, roll down my cheek and I knew it would not be the last. We walked with the coffin to the grave site and I watched them place him into the ground and cover him up with sand. That noise I will never forget.

So I am standing here today in front of a tree we planted for Ryan. It has been a month since he has been gone and I never thought I would move on however standing here I feel a warm breeze over my shoulder and I know I will be ok.  He is looking out for me from above and he is always with me in my heart. Life does go on, and we all move on from events in our lives. We understand that it is ok for us to laugh again and it is ok to cry as well. A loss in one’s life is something that one will never forget but we learn to live with the pain and move on in life.

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