Yesterday I woke up with an ominous feeling… I couldn’t understand it. there was no bad dream, nothing to dread on my daily to-do list. All I knew was that something was off, something wasn’t right, something felt… terrible. It permeated my spirit all day until it started annoying me because I just couldn’t figure it out. The day wasn’t perfect, mind you, that could not have been further from the truth. I had one of those days where Murphy’s Law reigned supreme, pretty much trampling every shred of hope that flickered at any point. And yet, somehow, I was sure that wasn’t it. Trivial daily mishaps happen all the time, to everyone, but that’s certainly not enough to have something feel wrong in the very fibre of my being, was it? I didn’t think so either.
I started going through everything in my head… it’s something I tend to do a lot, make mental checklists, go down and strike out. Still, I couldn’t figure it out. Today is Emancipation day in Jamaica, and it’s a pretty big deal for us as we celebrate our golden anniversary this year. I have to work today for a few hours, but that realisation is not what did it for me either. I was up most of the night feeling unsettled, annoyed even, because I just didn’t get it and I wanted that feeling of doom to just be gone. I eventually fell asleep without any leads.
This morning I woke up in pain, physical pain yes, but more of a heartache and like a ton of bricks, it hit me. I lost my cousin tragically last October, and today would have been his third birthday. I’ve been in a daze ever since. I can’t imagine how my aunt, my cousins and my uncle must feel today… having the nation celebrate all around them while they nurse raw wounds for the loss of their son and brother. My family has made some strides, yes, but how do we really feel? Will we ever get ‘there’? Sad doesn’t begin to explain it. I’m not even sure how I feel, but the word empty comes to mind. I was so attached to him. I had so many dreams for that little boy. He was beautiful, pure, and so obviously gifted.
In his brief stint on this cruel earth, he touched so many lives, amazed so many people. He just seemed to radiate warmth, love, and positive energy all the time. We fell in love with his eyes, his laugh, his smile… all of him. I’m still amazed at his hyperactivity and how strong his personality was, even for his age. I just knew he was going to be great. We all did… but alas, there wasn’t enough time. I remember clearly, underneath all the hurt and shock, the fury I felt, and sometimes still feel about his death. To this day I don’t understand it, and I wonder if I ever will. I couldn’t help but question God, and I still wonder what the big picture is supposed to be without him in it but I can accept now that sometimes I won’t have all the answers.
Today is a very difficult day for me. I expected a bit of discomfort, yes, but I’m quite surprised at just how raw everything still feels. I’ve decided to try to be strong and remember him as he was before his life was snuffed out – energetic, smart, and full of light.
On this day, August 1, 2012, I not only celebrate my nation, or the birthday of a cousin whom I once had high hopes for but barely got to know, I am also celebrating a soul freed. May he rest in peace.