Words that flow...

Words and images - powerful elements of our everyday life. Most of the time we take them for granted, but sometimes something happens to make you aware of how important they are... and how thankful you are to have the opportunity to use or appreciate them. Here lies some of my words and pictures (which are untouched apart from cropping, unless I've said otherwise) - Please add your words to mine, and leave a comment. Thanks for visiting!

01 July 2007

In Limbo


I can't believe how heavy I'm feeling

I wasn't going to write anything now, because all I'm thinking of is how my best friend in the whole world is gone. I still think of Julia as 'my best friend' from school. I've had and have other friends, who might feel just as close, and who I have an strong affection for, and who are equally irreplaceable... but... there's only one person who's been there from childhood to adulthood, from friendship to working partners, more or less from birth until death. Her death.

The thing is, I sat there with her- the greatest priviledge in the world- as she breathed her last breath, and as I sat there I may have appeared upset. Of course I cried - she was my friend... the person I shared thoughts, emotions, laughter with. But, inside a scream started. Externally it was silent, but inside it was so loud, so overwhelming.

This last week I've managed to go to work, to get through the day, and appeared to be coping admirably. In fact, I have been coping so well... I've done what I need to do. I've continued to work and look after the children and more or less go through the motions of the day. I got a bit behind on washing. So what. I didn't wash up right after the meal. Again, so what. The floor could do with a hoover... I know. But it's nothing.

Yes, I got through the week. I didn't sleep much. I kept waking up after an hour or so, with thoughts of Julia on my mind. With memories, or wishes of her being back. Always there. If she had been my life partner, I don't believe I could miss her as much. In fact, she was my life partner... but not in the way of being a lover. In the way of simply having been there for always, throughout different eras. In fact, in some ways, and I don't mean any disrespect to her husband or first partner, the friendship we had spanned different areas than she shared with them. For they shared intimacies as life partners do.

But between us, it was like we shared a bond that we used to joke we had been soul-mates from a previous life. No explanations were needed. We knew what direction our thoughts were taking. No signposts needed. We laughed and laughed and the stupidest things. No reason was needed. And now, she has moved on, and though I know she chose this way rather than have to have more treatment and prolong the suffering, and that she didn't have that much choice anyhow, I feel she's left me... with no explanation.

She was so darned brave, she puts my present cowardice to shame. I feel scared of dealing with the future without the person I've always shared with. She looked at what she had to deal with, and dealt with it. She wasn't happy about it. Of course she wasn't. She wanted to live longer. She wanted to be with her children and her husband and family. But she realised how things were, and she bravely closed her eyes and took her path looking like the angels she loved.

And she left us behind.

They say that the good go first. In Julia's case that had to be true. Ok, she sometimes gossiped, and sometimes she wished karma to return on those that did wrong by her - don't we all! But, as a person she didn't have a malicious bone in her small body. She tried to forgive everyone who did wrongs to her, even though those things hurt. She was bigger than those people. I'm not saying she didn't get upset, and let the hurt in, only that - once in- she dealt with it and chose to forgive. Even those so-called friends who inexplicably crossed the road to avoid her.... she forgave them, because we came to the conclusion it was fear of getting close to someone who might not be around for long that drove their actions.

She was bigger than me. I stayed angry with those people. When Julia knew her life had limits, and those limits were shorter than we all hope for, she had a lot to deal with. There were those who appeared at first to be potential friends, and who could have made her life so much more pleasant the last few years. They choose to treat her differently, and almost ostracise her. And the only reason we could see was because they found out how limited her time was and didn't know how to deal with it. I'm still angry at those people for the way they hurt her. Yet she forgave them, so I should too.

There was one that stood by her, in her new town home, that I didn't get on with. She kept this friendship for years, and spoke of this friend often. I didn't get on with this other person. We clashed personality wise. But I knew that this person stuck by Julia when she needed someone close by, and so I have a respect as well. There's no jealousy nor competition from my side, because I'm certain of my relationship with such an old friend. But insecurity has this other person speaking out loud about her friendship and how close they are. Up until Julia's death, I tolerated this with just a little friction where she rubbed me up the wrong way.

Now? Well, she created a beautiful slide show for the funeral. She genuinely cared for and misses Julia. She is a mutual friend. I find now that I feel an affection for her, despite our personality clash, because of her loyalty to someone I hold so dear. Funny how thing change overnight.

Julia's family, her parents and sisters... Gosh, it's such a hard thing to see them having to deal with it. I've lost my father and brother, and can empathise how it is to lose someone in the family. But to lose someone so vivacious, strong and brave? To lose your child, or your big sister? Jeez, even being privileged to have been part of that family since such a young age, I can still objectively feel the loss of the family as well as my own loss of a friend. How would it be to lose my own daughter or son, or my sisters. I just don't know how a person could stand to lose their child, and I hope I go before my children.

My mum lost her second son, her husband then her first son. I wonder sometimes how she managed to carry on living. But she did.

Dying is part of living, though it seems so far away these days. In the old days (I feel I aged 20 years just saying that!) dying was a more accepted part of life. While probably no more palatable, it was talked about and treated as normal. Now we have medicine and science, staving off the moment for as long as possible. We don't talk about death so openly, and we fear it more.

Death is but a continuation of the journey... or we hope it is. Personally, I believe it because of some inexplicable things that have happened to me. Things that don't have explanations in the everyday world. Maybe that immediately classes me as 'cookie', but then my sister, who awoke at exactly 2.50am, the exact time of Julia's death, may also be cookie. And so might my other sister, who shares her house with... what? a spirit? a poltergeist? I don't know what it was, but I was there when it was, and it put lights on and off, and had a presence that made my skin come out in goosebumps. I don't know. Did we have a good imagination, or is there something else?

Cups that started rocking back and forth in my house for five minutes... unreproducible (believe me, we tried!)... what was that? A door opened in an empty hallway.... lights coming on when they've been turned off... footsteps running (not the creaking of steps back into shape)... what is this? Is it imagination, or some psychokinesis, or could it be echoes of the past, or maybe ghosts? I really don't know. I haven't listed all the happenings, but all in all I am left with the feeling there's more to life than we know... and no other conclusions.

There's a part of me that is based in the non spiritual... the scientific...that when the body ends, so does all activity to do with that body, including what we call 'the soul'. When the body ends, there is a peace because the physical is returned to the wider universe and the spirit simply no longer exists. Then there's another part of me that believes that the spirit survives. That part believes that the spirit may well have chosen the path it followed in this life, or it may be that the path was there, and when it reached the end of it's journey it took off for another realm, or maybe it would simply exist on another plain of this place. So many possibilities. So little knowledge.

One thing that seems to become stronger in my awareness is how every now and then it's like a master plan is being carried out and falls into place. Like pieces of a jigsaw fitting together, suddenly several areas of your life just seem to slot into a perfect shape. It might not be how you would wish, or you envisage, but there's these moments that you just suddenly 'are'. All around you the pieces seem to slide into place and there's a 'rightness' (even in wrongness) where you can feel totally 'there'.

Does this make sense?

It's happened a few times to me. One time was last year. I'd been chatting to someone on an internet dating site, and was in awe of their pictures. I bought a camera for my son, and two identical ones were sent, because of some internet crash problem with the ordering. Two were paid for. But I was only aware that I had one. A housefire, where I believed that the one I was aware of was ruined, then I found a second, unopened package. I was going to return it, but decided I quite liked to have the camera for myself. Starting a blog. My pictures shoving over my poetry to grab the spotlight... suddenly I saw the path that led to that point. If it weren't for this, or that, I wouldn't have had this blog here today. I wouldn't place such an importance, or joy, in photography.... all things for a purpose...

So, what is the purpose of an early death? I ask myself now. I'm looking for the answer to my internal scream, "Why?"

I'm lucky to have had such a good friend, who will continue to shape my life, I tell myself. I have all these wonderful memories of growing up, of sharing adulthood, of mind-melding. I'm just glad that Julia considered me a friend (it could have been so different).... Are these the answer to 'Why?'

Julia and I (as I mentioned) often speculated that our closeness could only have been borne from a previous existence. We knew each other too well from such a young age for that knowledge to be merely from this lifetime. Throughout our lifetime, there has been so many times when we intuitively knew when the other was in trouble. We followed the same path at University, for goodness sakes... making the same moves, the same discoveries at the same time. Meeting new significant people at the same time... like they say about the parallel lives of twins.

Oh, it sounds weird when written like this. But it was there. That's how it was. Even when she was abroad, I'd know when she was going to make contact, and vice versa. Funnily enough, though, we were useless - worse than useless- at the telepathy card test. My sister actually had a higher telepathy score than us. We seemed to have a negative score...almost opposite to what we were aiming at... I don't know why. It was not chance, but like a negative correlation. My sister scored positive with Julia, but I didn't.... that's always been a mystery to me, when every other aspect of our lives proclaimed a link.

Anyway, I'm tired now. As a steam-of-consciousness this is something of what I'm thinking... and yet it's nothing of what I'm thinking too... What's going through my head is of bigger things... things I'm not ready to talk about.

Thank you, my friends, for visiting and saying hello. Even though I might not always respond, I'm aware of your visits and value them. I treasure the little gems of friendship you leave me. I lap up the hope you leave in your trail. Thanks is inadequate for the lifeline you leave, when you stop to say hello. One day I hope I may return that fellowship. I hope I am there for you as you are for me!

© Annelisa Christensen 7:41 pm

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At July 02, 2007 1:53 am, Blogger Mimi Lenox said...

Oh Annelisa. My heart breaks for you. But I'm glad you're writing. It will help.

At July 02, 2007 1:53 am, Blogger twilite said...

Hi Annelisa! Wow...such length! What a tribute to your bossom friend!

Thank you for sharing intensely your feelings and thoughts of death.

We die daily...figuratively and in health...our body wastes away with age.

You've got one strong mum indeed.

I lost my beloved through senseless killings when he was serving with the Red Cross. Then my parents of old age. Time cannot erase the pain but learning to embrace that loss is something I'm maturing...I look forward to meeting my loved ones one day again as a Christian. In the meantime, I try to live my life to the fullest with joy (trying though).

Let us be your friends...doubt we can replace the vacuum created by your dear Julia...Take care and come back -- drop words of encouragement on our blogs! Cheerio.

At July 02, 2007 2:41 am, Blogger twilite said...

Hi Annelisa! I like the close-up of the flower against the distant sun...of hope! Is this where we shall be when we leave this earth?

At July 02, 2007 9:14 am, Blogger TopChamp said...

Annelisa - you are a good friend to us and we appreciate you. It is understandable that you miss your best friend! And nobody is here to judge you.

You have worded your feelings beautifully and have moved me as ever with your stormy skies.

It's good to hear from you x

At July 02, 2007 9:24 am, Blogger Akelamalu said...

I have just replied to your email honey only to come here and find you have said the exact same things as I have written to you.

You're in my thoughts daily. x

At July 02, 2007 2:40 pm, Blogger steve said...

I think that one of the rules of the game is that we never really get to connect all the dots....and another rule is that as long as we play, we cannot lose.

At July 02, 2007 8:11 pm, Blogger goatman said...

I cry with you. We each face death in a different way but its the same death. Into the void in the hope of . . . hope.
And you don't have to respond; you have exposed your grief for all to relive at the loss of theirs'.

At July 02, 2007 9:19 pm, Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I'm so glad you wrote all this down here. it resonates with all of us I'm sure and we have all wondered and thought the same things, perhaps just not with the up close experience still fresh for you.

You've got to know that you make perfect sense here. You have been a lot closer than I have to death and trying to make some sense of it. I suspect all of you I that room walked her out of her body and ushered into that other realm and for that you were honoured. You went as far as any earthly beings can go, but then she was alright on her own and was actually welcoming the next place. That's the way I envision it anyway.You have witnessed something very special and magical.

It is interesting that your sister scored on that test and she woke up at the time of Julia's death. But then, she is connected to her through you.

Of course you ask WHY and maybe there is no answer..maybe it is just a random crapshoot thing of this physical world and has no bearing on the spiritual world at all. It sounds like you two already had a lot of spiritual connections already in this life.

My heart is with you now as you try to come to terms with all this.

At July 03, 2007 3:54 am, Blogger Queenie said...

Annelisa I could read for hours about yours and Julia's friendship, I can just imagine the pair of you righting the worlds wrong's over a bottle of wine. Its priceless what you and Julia have, nothing can take that away. You know my thoughts are with you, take care. I'm just going to browse over your wonderful photos again.

At July 03, 2007 8:46 am, Blogger Akelamalu said...

Hi honey, just popping in with a hug. x

At July 03, 2007 2:13 pm, Blogger Pauline said...

I have no answers to your questions. but it seems to me that in a short time your friend Julia will leave you a message. This message may come from a stranger, a word or phrase spoken that you have only heard from Julia and you will have received the priceless gift. The knowledge that Julia still exists. Love and prayers for comfort.

At July 03, 2007 3:33 pm, Blogger Katie McKenna said...

I'm sad to hear that your friend has moved on. I still deal with my own echoes of grief this time every year.... I have no answers.... there is nothing more personal than death.

love and hugs, Katie

At July 03, 2007 11:21 pm, Blogger QUASAR9 said...

Hi Annelisa,
think I told you this one before.
One day as a kid in Singapore, I saw some cars and trucks drive past, hooting and people on the trucks playing drums & music.

I asked my father, "is that a party, a wedding celebration?"

He replied, "Son, that's a Chinese funeral" - like the Irish the Chinese celebrate death with a party or a wake - celebrating the fact that the departed has gone to a better place - where there is no more suffering, no more disease, no more decay, no more death.

Aaah, but we discard ancient traditions whether Chinese or Irish at our own peril ...
I've never had much time for mourning or wailing - who brought sadness to the show.
All the world is a stage, which part do you choose, and how do you choose to play the part in this Shakepeare Play?

Sure, there is loss
there is loss of innocence
there is loss of youth
thee is loss of virginity
there is loss of beauty
there is loss of life
there is loss of loved ones & friends
in the passing, the passing away!
Over some things we hold no sway!

At July 04, 2007 7:14 am, Blogger Akelamalu said...

Hoping the sun is peeping through the dark clouds for you honey. ((hugs)). x

At July 04, 2007 10:57 am, Blogger lettuce said...

i'm so gladi found time to pop in- i've been thinking of you quite a bit. I loved reading this and hope it helped to write it?

i know what you mean about expressing what you are thinking - but, also, its nothing of what you are thinking...

i'm told it will get easier.
but also - to take time, be good to myself. You do the same.

At July 04, 2007 2:15 pm, Blogger red dirt girl said...

annelisa, sweet girlfriend ......

i'm crying........ i'm sobbing buckets ....... loss resonates with loss ....... to know and experience such a love as yours and julia's ...... a miracle really ..... rare and wondrous.....

and she had you ...... rare and wondrous you.

At July 04, 2007 2:37 pm, Blogger GEWELS said...

I received this from a friend yesterday...Now I send it to you during your time of sadness and question.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.

The seasons have changed, but not your love for Julia- or hers for you.
You will always remember the joy she brought you- and be sustained by it.

At July 04, 2007 3:49 pm, Blogger Mike M said...

You are up next in The Experiment. If you need any help write me an email at minzesm@comcast.net

At July 05, 2007 2:59 am, Blogger Sanni said...

Feeling for you, crying with you - and loving this post... just let the words flow, my darling friend.

((((hugs)))) x million

At July 05, 2007 6:35 am, Blogger Akelamalu said...

I've popped by with your daily hug honey. Im going away tomorrow for a couple of weeks, but be sure I will be thinking of you every day. Maybe when I get back you will be too! xxxx

At July 06, 2007 11:58 am, Blogger Pauline said...

Just dropping off a smile :)

At July 08, 2007 2:36 am, Blogger krystyna said...

Hi Annelisa!
Big hug to you!
I cannot answer- Why? I offten ask- why? I think that Quasar comment is similar to my thoughts.
Wishing you good health!

At July 08, 2007 2:41 am, Blogger krystyna said...

Take care!
I'm always with you!

At July 09, 2007 7:15 pm, Anonymous Brian said...

A very moving tribute to a special friend. I'm sure she would approve.

Keep writing and grieving and living each day.

At July 10, 2007 11:44 am, Blogger red dirt girl said...

it was a joy to see a small ray of your sun light breaking through the blue note clouds over at red's place ....... i hope i can share some of it with you ..... but mostly, i just to let you know how much i miss you.

kitty cat

At July 10, 2007 2:05 pm, Blogger Dave Mows Grass said...

Just checking in... I know you're having some hard times now but don't let the whole Summer get away from you. There are lots of nice things to see and snap pictures of.

Wishing you the best...


At July 10, 2007 2:38 pm, Blogger Mike M said...

With The Experiment, how about we move you down the list a bit?

At July 11, 2007 3:10 am, Blogger ~Deb said...

This was the most beautiful post! I'm so sorry for your loss. The good ones do seem to leave us too soon. All I can say is, you've learned a lot from her and you've shown it clearly through this post...as well as through your words and photos.

There's an old saying....People come into our lives for a reason, a season and/or for a lifetime.

I hope your heart heals. She sounds like a great person...and so do you!

At July 12, 2007 10:34 pm, Blogger Sanni said...

Here to send some more

At July 16, 2007 9:57 pm, Blogger Stephanie said...

I am sorry for your loss. My best friend passed away 18 months ago and I still think of her everyday. The photos are beautiful and a wonderful tribute to her.

At July 24, 2007 4:06 am, Blogger dana barnett said...

Dear Annlisa, I am thinking of you..I wish you many more feelings of sprituality and your poems are very good ...I like to see your writing side...Well send me a visit when you can...take care and god bless,

Truly Dana...


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