Grace

I am not sure how to start this story. But I want to tell it, so I shall try and let it flow from my mind as how I lived it. A stream of consciousness from when I was exhausted by my own selfishness, a regret I cannot fetch an answer for. I cannot apologise, I can only choose to ignore but a wrong in my eyes for someone I adored will never depart from the shores of my mind.

I once knew an amazing woman, a figure in my life I held highly for I saw the strength she had for her family. I grew up within the walls of her home as if it was my own, often visiting to play with her children/my cousins. We are not blood related but through family friendship and relationships we built ourselves we made a brotherhood.

Before I slept I kept bugging my blood brother, goading him into another devious plan. If we did this and that, Mum and Dad will be obliged to let us go to see our cousins. I do not think, in my 18 years of remembrance, they have not welcomed us to their home. It truly felt like my own, ironically the authority was held by their Mother – who was almost smothering in her pleasantries.

Her smile filled me with joy, despite me being an angry boy it had a similar effect my own Mother has. Her presence was as cooling as jazz, a safe haven – nothing could go wrong, we would stay fed and well kempt. Whilst we were upstairs, in the garden or around the area being mischievous her watchful gaze would outsmart our stupidity.

That brotherhood exists until today, unfortunately my Aunt, their Mother, passed away. Now this area in my mind is particularly grey, I cannot stand the thought alone facing my feet as if I am atoning for my sins. When truly I only acted at a whim, you don’t really think in your teenage years. Engrossed by my peers and humbled by my fears, my own bubble was burst by her death.

Some may say what do you expect? Life is about living until death, whether or not religion is kept or your life expectancy is not entirely spent the cost of living is expensive. We owe an eternal debt to death. I feel like I do not realise the weight of life, how much I admire something until it is truly gone. If only every departure had a swansong.

Once I was hospitalised, health deteriorating and mind slowly degrading as I sunk further into the uneasy death reeking hospital bed. My family attended to me, ensuring I was well fed, entertained but if I am honest I had already changed. Only a matter of weeks but my resolve was so weak that some faux insanity infiltrated my mind. Wasting away I couldn’t find comfort.

Such days were lonely, agonising pain of feeling something writhing in my brain. A drip to maintain my health and sustenance, having an appetite was rare. I only had day dreams and nightmares of the outside. I could not care for anything else. I was truthfully dejected, alienated by life from bed, knowing I was so weakened I couldn’t fend for myself.

The needles which pierced my veins for the drip to hold became a nuisance to myself and everybody else. Ripping it from my hand by frustration, it stung and irked me having holes poked in my body. But the worst was the long tube to prevent the constant piercings, I twitch and readjust when I even think about it. A hole in my bicep to access a main vein gave way to drip that went inside and up, through the vein into an artery or some shit.

Infuriates me to even think about it, I wanted my arm to be removed. Felt infected by these functions that were supposedly there to help me recover when personally it felt like I was smothered by tests. I felt truly inhumane, hence I welcomed the feeling of being insane. To protect myself.

Although my family were by my side, I couldn’t shake the feeling of depression. It got worse until I saw other faces. A former best friend from my Primary School, then my Aunt, both who reminded me there are things to be done on the outside. Soon that misery turned to smiles, as I found myself back on my feet – with literally a numb skull because of an operation underneath it. However, I do not think I have been the same since then.

Maybe that is why I changed, became more self-motivated. Me myself and I, throughout my life there has been long periods where I have been excluded from interaction. Expulsion from School gave me 6 months alone, which made me grow a taste for my lonesome. Which truly is an excuse for my selfishness.

Whilst I battled with my own life in the walls of my mind, I found myself ignorant of everything around me. It worked to my advantage, avoiding the madness of the streets opting for the sadness of societal defeat. I often retreated to my home, to just experience that World of my own. In doing so, I lost the chance to say goodbye.

I still held to my loved ones, visiting my cousins, enjoying quality time with my family members every now and then. Maybe chilling with friends once a week. Yet I could not apply the same concentration of myself to them, to the extent I ignored the obvious to seem oblivious to what was truly happening.

My Parents told me my Aunt was not well, I could tell – except the severity was not something I wanted to dwell on. I often saw her, at her home on her own afraid to ask but willing to help around. She deteriorated fast, I suspected her life wouldn’t last but still did not say a thing. Somewhere in my head, it was excruciating.

She was hospitalised too. For weeks maybe, but as you do in your ignorant youth you expect the best casually. Encouraged by my Parents to go and wish her well, I waited for such a gathering to happen. Instead of opting to go and see her myself, I waited – foolishly. Then one day I received a text, have you spoken to Aunty recently? Answering no, I couldn’t fathom why – or rather didn’t want to. The reply informed me she died that morning. I nearly drown in tears, it tore my up so much because I avoided those fears.

This has become a theme in my life, allowing loved ones to pass away without reciprocating the greatness they showed me. Not being spiritual or admiring dedicating my endeavours to their loss, I find it hard to accept and move on. It is one of my greatest regrets. I still look for an answer, not one to just deal with death but how to appreciate without the exploitation of love in death.

Author: Jude

5 thoughts on “Grace

  1. Elegantly written. Resonated with me deeply to the verge of tears. Thoroughly enjoy all your work focusing on mental health mainly but this is my personal favourite.

  2. Hi Jude,
    Apologies in advance for the unnecessary mini essay, I’ve never left feedback on things because even under the security internet anonymity provides, I am a painfully shy individual and also… I often find myself asking; who cares?

    What I found particularly interesting about this piece is that after reading, I scrolled through people’s feedback on twitter and what struck me is how quite a few people commented on how articulate you were and how elegantly you wrote. I respectfully disagree. Your writing to me does not flow elegantly – and before you dismiss my opinion as that of a ‘hater’ might I just add that that is exactly what I love about it. It’s raw and unsettling and I can sense through it your attempts to keep it unfiltered. I would liken your writing to jazz… it’s rebellious & marked by a certain dissonance…idk. It may not flow ‘elegantly’ in my humble opinion but it has a distinct rhythm, nonetheless. Also, I could greatly empathise with what you wrote about death…
    You have a genuine talent for writing and I admire your persistence in wanting to better yourself as a writer.
    I understand this is your first short story (correct me if I’m wrong) but it was a beautiful first attempt and I cannot wait to see what more you have in store.

    Much love,
    a distant admirer of your work & thoughts.

    1. I didn’t even get to see this, but I love it. I didn’t intend for it to flow, it came more from the soul. You are not wrong, thank you for your words. I couldn’t put a finger on it myself, but it is what I do. I don’t intend it to be elegant, I tried to pull it all out.

  3. Hi Jude,
    Apologies in advance for the unnecessary mini essay, I’ve never left feedback on things because even under the security internet anonymity provides, I am a painfully shy individual and also… I often find myself asking; who cares?
    What I found particularly interesting about this piece is that after reading, I scrolled through people’s feedback on twitter and what struck me is how quite a few people commented on how articulate you were and how elegantly you wrote. I respectfully disagree. Your writing to me does not flow elegantly – and before you dismiss my opinion as that of a ‘hater’ might I just add that that is exactly what I love about it. It’s raw and unsettling and I can sense through it your attempts to keep it unfiltered. I would liken your writing to jazz… it’s rebellious & marked by a certain dissonance…idk. It may not flow ‘elegantly’ in my humble opinion but it has a distinct rhythm, nonetheless. Also, I could greatly empathise with what you wrote about death…
    You have a genuine talent for writing and I admire your persistence in wanting to better yourself as a writer.
    I understand this is your first short story (correct me if I’m wrong) but it was a beautiful first attempt and I cannot wait to see what more you have in store.
    Much love,
    a distant admirer of your work & thoughts.

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