On memories and missing friends

I don’t know how much sense I’m making. But I’m writing this just because…I don’t really know. I guess I need to.

It feels odd, still. As my housemate said the other day, it still doesn’t feel like anything’s happened. Like he’s just going to walk in the door again one day. He doesn’t feel gone.

And yet there’s a hole in my heart, and an empty seat in the house, and gaps in my day where there should be an email or a text or a smiling face at the train station.

It’s the little things that hit me the most. The ones I expect I can usually deal with – but it’s driving back along the ridge at night, singing loudly, and then feeling the tears start because I just want to be able to turn around and see him there in the back seat, smiling. It’s reading a line I wrote and thinking how much he liked it. It’s stepping out of the front door and hesitating a moment before I lock it, because surely there’s someone else coming to the canal with me?

He still walks beside me. I am so grateful to have known him, despite every moment of heartache it gives me.

Some people walk through life so quietly that most people don’t notice they’re there until they’re gone. And then – they aren’t there, and there’s a hole.

So I guess what I want to say is this:

If you think you’re worthless; if you think you don’t have a place, you don’t make a difference, you don’t matter….

You’re wrong. You do.

I only knew Ryan for a year. He wasn’t someone who made the world shake as he walked; he was quiet, thoughtful. You wouldn’t have noticed him in a crowded room, and you probably wouldn’t have glanced twice at him if you saw him on the street.

He didn’t think he was important. He felt so small, so tiny, so powerless. He didn’t think he was special or funny or different or clever or beautiful. He didn’t feel that he was anyone.

You think you can’t make a difference. That you don’t matter.

To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.

You matter.

I have suddenly lost someone who meant a lot to me, even though he didn’t think he was important.

I miss the smile. I miss his long fingers, his quiet words, his interested glance. I miss the man who was always up for a walk or exploring, the writer who experimented in so many worlds, the fanboy who was always up for talking about anything that interested him. I miss the small things that made up everything about him.

You matter.

I miss my friend who didn’t think he was brilliant or funny or clever or intelligent or wise or amazing, and who was every single one of those things.

And yes, I did tell him that he was, regularly.

(He was a derp, too, and an idiot. I told him that on a regular basis as well, although mostly when he drilled through water pipes and stayed up until 3am because the cat fell asleep on him and he didn’t want to move it.)

But you matter.

He didn’t have a choice in life. He got taken away just as he was getting started.

You matter.

If you’re feeling small or worthless, if you’re feeling unimportant, if you’re just feeling grey and nothing.

Don’t choose to end things.

You will leave a hole in too many hearts that will never entirely heal, no matter how small or insignificant you think you are.

You matter.

8 thoughts on “On memories and missing friends

  1. Oh Kate – Hugs to you. I feel this way too. I want him to finish his vacation , he’s been gone long enough, Time for him to come home.

    This hole is to big and there is nothing to fill it.

    Ryan was a much bigger person than he ever realised. He was amazing.

    Thank you for putting this into words.
    xx

  2. This made me cry. The only experience I have that’s vaguely similar though not in so many ways, was losing my friend Lindsey. We’d only met once but had known each for about three years. We were both hopeless insomniacs, so at 2 or 3 in the morning when everyone else had been asleep for ages, we would still be busy nattering and laughing with each other. She was my first go-to-gal. We both loved fantasy, dragons, playing in the snow. I can’t believe we only met once. We were planning to go away together for a girlie and writer week in Las Vegas. The first time she’d gone alone as I was ill, I will always regret that. We’d planned to go together in the summer of 2013, but sadly that was not to be. I spoke to her on New Year’s Day, she had so many plans and hopes for that coming year. She fell ill only a few hours later, was rushed to hospital and was diagnosed with a brain aneurism. The op was successful yet, she passed away a few days later, 5th Jan 2013. Every time I feel low, every time I am still awake when all others are asleep, I think about her and miss her. For you, that loss is so much rawer. You saw Ryan nearly every day, he was a huge part of your life at the pub, a huge and real part of your life. I can only imagine how big the hole is, how deep the pain is. You will think of him often and the plain truth is, you will miss him forever. I’ve made more friends since Lindsey passed, some wonderful friends like you. But the person that has gone has particular shaped hole they leave behind. A Lindsey hole for me, a Ryan hole for you, and no new friends, no matter how amazing and lovely they are, will be the exact same shape to fill that hole. Like the unique shape of a jigsaw piece. I’m so so sorry for your loss sweetie. I know what a massive part of your life Ryan was and what he meant to you. That Ryan hole will never be filled, but I’m still sending duvet hugs for you to take comfort in. I’m here for you honey, anytime, any day. <3 xxxx

    1. 5th January, The date we’ll never forget. I take comfort in knowing our son Ryan had found a wonderful friend in Kate, somewhere he felt at ease knowing he was always welcomed regardless of how he was feeling, Knowing there would always be laughter, fun, happiness, a hug, a place to share his thoughts and worries. He loved all the time he spend in the company of Kate ( & Co).

      Thank you Kate you are an amazing lady xxx

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