When I told an acquaintance that a friend had died she said "you're not very lucky" which is both true and not altogether correct.
Over the last few years I have lost a school friend, my best friend and a friend's husband to cancer, kidney failure claimed a friend, a school friend had a fatal heart attack whilst on a holiday of a lifetime, a dear friend had a fatal heart attack recently and so whilst I am unlucky not to have these people in my life I am incredibly lucky to have had them in my life.
When Charch died our friends from school were prepared for it, unlike when Rachel died. Rachel was on a dream holiday and that was it, no warning, no mention of any ill health and then she was gone. When Clare died, whilst expected, the pain and loss was raw and still is. Tracey's death was totally unexpected and the fact that she hadn't told many people that she was so ill took everyone by surprise. Paul had been poorly but until he was admitted to hospital we had no idea he was that ill. Mungo had been poorly when I had flu so we consoled ourselves with coughing conversations and then he seemed to get better. His death was totally unexpected and has opened up those feelings of grief, loss and bewilderment I have been working through with my Cruse Bereavement Counsellor.
So they're gone and whilst I cry myself to sleep thinking why them? Why me? I also think of the good times, the fun times that at the time were occasions - now they are memories. Memories have a strange knack of sneaking up on you. Mook's friend's father died and the Lily Allen "Somewhere Only We Know" was playing as we entered the church, his coffin came in to One Direction's "Story Of My Life". Those two songs were impossible to listen to for ages and we would literally lurch at the radio to switch them off. Bound by the unspoken understanding that it would unsettle emotions and feelings.
"A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri is a song I will always associate with Clare, it will remind me of driving around France, or evenings in our holiday homes and the words "I have loved you for a thousand years, I will love you for a thousand more" sum up how I feel about her. She was my best friend for 10 years, I will never forget those 10 years and I will always love her. Today I walked into the garage and it was playing on the radio. Part of me wanted to turn heel and run to my car, the strong part of me stayed whilst I was told the hoover wasn't working.
The day after I heard Mungo had died I was driving the girls to school and Birdy's "Wings" came on the radio and whilst I struggled to stop my bottom lip wibbling my eyes watered, Mook turned me to me and say "Mummy, don't cry" and stroked my arm. Wings was not a song associated to Mungo but the words "oh lights go down, in the moment we're lost and found" struck a chord. The man who started every sentence with "Hello Darling", a bright shining light had gone.
But I'm not unlucky. I'm lucky. I'm incredibly lucky to have known these beautiful friends who I grew up with, together we spent time, made memories, laughed and cried, plotted and planned, idled away the days, drank long into the night. Time is so special and precious and good friends are to be treasured.
As luck would have it I have brilliant friends. I'm missing some of them but I'm lucky to have had time with them and as The Waterboys lyrics ring out in my ears "How long will I love you, as long as there are stars above you, and longer if I can" I will always remember quite how lucky I am.