And we’re off!! Great start today with 67.69km done already!!
Little shamed to say that I didn’t even get 1km in but will do tomorrow! 13 people have signed up and the support has been really heart-warming, thank you.
There are some things to iron out, like the small thing of how to map it but I have my tech support (aka husband) on to it! As a reminder, the plan is to travel virtually around the world which will mean stopping off and doing a little sight seeing.
We started in Durban today. Durban is where Jeremy (Gumby) and I were born. It’s also where he was cremated.
I’m sitting here thinking about what kind of things might be interesting to write about as we go along. It’s hard not to get caught up in what it might look like, or what it ‘should’ look like. I know that I want it to be a fun, honest and safe opportunity for me and others to explore an aspect of being human that is so often ignored which is…
People die. We are all going to die and every one will suffer the pain of losing someone they love.
I tried for so long not to feel that pain. I tried to pretend that it didn’t happen. I tried so hard not to think about my brother because I was terrified of what would happen if I did. I don’t really know what I thought would happen, I just know I didn’t trust it. I didn’t trust that I would be able to cope. I didn’t trust myself.
“Jeremy’s been shot”, said our sister Sarah.
It was ten past 5 on a Saturday morning. I was in my bedroom, standing next to my bed with the house phone in one hand. No one ever called the house phone and no one ever called at stupid o’ clock in the morning so I knew it was bad.
There was a pile of parenting books, a half empty mug of cold tea and a selection of pink plastic Peppa pigs on the wooden bedside table. My pyjama top was tight against my very pregnant belly and my hand rested on it, waiting to feel the reassuring flip flop of life. My husband was awake and listened, both of us prayed that the ringing hadn’t woken our 2-year-old daughter.
It was pitch dark outside but the dim yellow light from the energy saving bulb in the beside lamp grew in brightness. It was so early that the heating hadn’t even kicked on but I did not feel the cold.
There was a dust bunny on the white carpet by my foot.
“He’s been killed”, she said.
I remember feeling numb.
Everything went quiet and all I knew was that I needed to get to our mom. Sarah wanted to know what I knew, which at that stage was absolutely nothing. Mom had called her first because she didn’t know how to tell me.
My husband asked if maybe she was misunderstanding things and wanted me to call my mom to check but I knew it was true. I also knew that I had to move straight away or I wouldn’t be able to. There was no thinking involved. I just did what made sense.
I remember driving and at some point, hearing a really strange sound. It took me a moment to realise it was coming from me. I don’t remember if I was crying or not. I believe it’s called keening.
Nobody tells you what it will feel like when you find out someone you love has died. It’s not something you can pre plan either. No amount of thinking about what I would do on the day I learned my brother was murdered would have helped me cope with it any differently, or any better, than how I coped with it as it was unfolding.
Sometimes it’s helpful to remember that I am so much more resilient and creative than I know.
So are you.