"It's like praying for rain as I stand in the desert,
But I'm holding you closer than most,
'Cause you are my heaven."- Ron Pope- A Drop In The Ocean
April was when it got bad. She got worse and deteriorated right in front of our eyes. We all hoped it was just a bad patch, we all thought she would get better with medical help. We had spent years praying for a cure, praying the doctors were wrong but we soon learnt you can't always get what you pray for. None of us could really comprehend what was going on, the panic hit us like a brick wall but we stayed calm around her, we didn't want to scare her. We had all known this time was coming but we didn't know it would come so soon. Eight years is a long time to get used to something but when it changes it messes up the balance of things, especially when it happens so suddenly.
I had always been close to my mother's side of the family. Especially my Great Auntie Bea. She was the youngest of the eight sisters and the one I was always closest to. She was only 50 years old when all this happened, you may think that's old but it was a young age to be leaving this Earth. She had cancer and she was a fighter, she spent the last 8 years of her life fighting it. She was the bravest one, we were all scared for her.
It was a Wednesday. A cold, rainy day in the middle of April. Half term from school and I was meant to be revising for my upcoming exams but I was too dissolved in the pain unfolding around me. For the past few days, everyone had known it was coming, her passing. It was a strange time because I was happy that she wouldn't be in pain anymore but I wished for a cure so the pain would be gone but we could still have her with us. That day was just another one, they were trying to make her comfortable and help her as much as they could, the nurses went to my other Auntie's house where they were all staying to help too.
At the stroke of midnight, she left us. Around 20 minutes later, I heard the phone ring, my mother didn't pick up but I knew what had happened. That night I cried more than I thought it was possible. The worst thing was, it was confimed over Facebook when my cousin posted an update about it, that made the pain worse.
The days passed, we planned the funeral, the rest of the family visited the Chapel of Rest and we mourned. I had never seen my mother so upset and I didn't know how to act. Almost 16 years on this Earth and it was the first time that I can remember that I had seen her heart break right in front of me, with nothing I can do. It seemed like it would never heal, the wounds would always be open because no love could be strong enough to seal them shut. No amount of anti-depressants or therapy could mend the damage of losing someone so close forever, no way of bringing her back. I still had my remaining family but they couldn't make up for the caring, heart warming person we had lost, they were the opposite to her, a complete contrast in personalities. The hand around my heart was squeezing, getting tighter and tighter every time I saw a teardrop, everytime I heard the word 'death' and when I thought about her. I had to be the strong one for my mother but it was the most difficult task I had ever attempted. She told me it was okay to cry, what she didn't know was that I cried alone so I didn't upset her any more than she already was; I wouldn't have been able to see her anymore upset and stay strong, it was already verging on impossible.
I returned to school after the holiday. Only my closest friends knew about the recent happening, however the news spread. I was really unsure of who I could trust anymore, news I told only the closest people seemed to be known by half of the school by the following week. The petty news of who I liked or who I couldn't stand I could get over, but not knowing who had told other people such painful news added to the daily struggle I was going through. Why couldn't people see I was already going through enough without having the pressure of not knowing who to trust on top of it all? I felt like I was carrying a huge sack over my shoulder with people throwing extra weight in at any oppurtunity.
My friends in school, no matter who had betrayed me, were supportive enough. I got the feeling I was a burden, like a child they were forced to babysit, an unwanted pet they had to care for who was eventually going to end up on the streets alone. I only had a month left in school until I left for college so I did't think much of it, I guessed the exam pressure was building on them just like it was to me too. However, if anyone was meant to support me, it was meant to be my teachers, the people who were meant to look after me and guide me from 8:45am to 3:45pm, Monday to Friday, execpt on teacher training days, bank holidays and school breaks. I told them about my recent trouble and they shrugged it off an told me off for not completing homework and not concentrating in class, even in physics when my teacher started discussing cancer, my friend kept asking questions, egging on the situatuon, knowing about my pain. In bad experiences, you really do find out who your true friends are, the ones who stay for life.