my sister wrote a blog post today. It started off with “All yesterday I had this funny feeling.” and I immediately knew what was coming next. I knew what this was a post about. I knew that it was that time of year, and I was surprised to be reading about it first on her blog, rather than on facebook. It was facebook that told her what her funny feeling was. Josh would have been 23 yesterday. He died 5 years ago, 3 weeks after his 18th birthday.
Joshie is one of the reasons I work in Road Safety. I see the effect his death had on his family and the entire community and how grief changes and, as Emmeline said, “the sadness has become a melancholy that is a part of our lives”. Just the other day at a workshop someone was talking about aquaplaning and I was able to mention Josh’s story without tearing up. And perhaps that is because I had put on a role – someone who has been effected by road trauma but is *doing* something about it rather than being a puddle on the floor. Or perhaps I have become desensitised by my work.
But I didn’t feel desensitised tonight when I read Emmeline’s blog. I broke into tears as quietly as is appropriate when you get home at 11 and your kind aunties* are asleep in the next room with the door ajar. Then I was lost as to what to do with this sudden unexpected emotion so late at night. I didn’t wish to vaguebook, or even post something explicit on facebook. No disrespect to those that do, but for me that isn’t the right way to honour my feelings. I was flipping through facebook, more looking for something to distract me, or for an appropriate segue into something else when I saw that dad had posted a coover of Gotye’s “somebody that I used to know”. I youtubed the original and it was exactly what I needed. I thought there were more lyrics that expressed how I felt. But I googled the lyrics (I didn’t watch the video, in case it was not what I needed), and they are totally off track.
However the following lines struck me:
The first line:
Now and then I think of when we were together
and the last line of the chorus:
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
because that is how I feel. I no longer know Josh, he is now somebody that I used to know. Somebody that I loved dearly and at one time was like a younger brother to me. That was no longer the case when he died, and I was overseas when it happened. Which I think adds to my feeling that I no longer know him, like maybe he moved to Sydney and no longer keeps in touch.
*Kind aunties** cos they let me stay at their house for 6 weeks while I find one of my own
**sorry, I know you don’t like aunties.