To lose a loved one is one of the hardest things for me. I am so unsettled by it, especially if it is someone my age or younger. Because I am young. And Death is so definite.
At someone’s memorial or funeral one expects to gain closure and to get some kind of “feeling” that the world is upright again. But alas it is not always so.
My “friendus” Mark Reynolds was a larger than life person who was always going to defeat death until he didn’t. I met Mark on the “kleuterskool” play ground in a small town called Tzaneen where english speakers were in the minority. There were 3 of us : Mark, Vivienne and myself.
We played on the “baantjie” and said ” get away, get away” a lot. We forged a friendship right there and then that lasted an eternity (I hope). Death confuses me and many of the things I hope for (faith) elude my desire for confirmation thereof.
Throughout junior and high school we played, we learned, we experimented. Mark was the first to offer me a cigarette -menthol nogal. I tried it, hated it and it convinced me lifelong that I would not smoke. We hiked in the gorgeous agatha forest, slid down the rocks. We laughed so much mostly our sides split.
We rode horses in Sabie – galloping into eternity together.
More recently Mark attended my sister and my wedding. I will never forget Mark giving my bemused husband-to-be a flower as was his custom.
Mark’s laugh was one of those that triggered others to laugh and not stop. His smile captivated. His heart was one the most beautiful I have ever seen. He sacrificed so much for others – his important others.
In love I believe he was let down so badly it still hurts me. He painted out of that and gave up on romantic love – which is so so desperately sad but I believe he was trying to self preserve. For me this is so tragic as he was a gorgeous soul and the love between 2 people – true romantic love as it were is something that can take one to heights that nothing else can- and it did – only it dropped him too (as it does many).
He had so much to give – in life and love.
Taken way way too soon, I just don’t understand and I guess never will.
What I know is that we must live here now, and make each minute count. We must cherish each other in the moment. Be present in the moment and live each as if the last.
To Mark – my “friendus” ignite heaven as I know you will with your soul. Devastate them with the joy that radiates out of it. The deeper the sorrow carves into your being the more joy it can contain. I love you and I always will.