There are always things in your past that, in hindsight, you wish you had not done and something things you wish your brain would forget. Sigh…my memories, my memories serve me far too well….
I am good at burying stuff in the back of my head and just eliminating the thought of it for a long time. This buried stuff however never stays buried as some trigger form my past or sometimes a smell brings the memories flooding back to the forefront and then I begin the process of trying to push it back down.
Sometimes it is easier to push it down. Most times I have to go through the motions and the memories so that I can find peace with it. Within recent times I have had to find peace with some memories that I knew could stay buried for long.
January 11, 2011 – A friend saw a memorial in the newspaper for my friend Zen Dionne Jarrette and asked me if the “Stefan” they referred to was me. I said: I don’t know and then everything came flooding back to me.
I remember that in 2008, I had spent part of that week in Barbados on assignment for work. I had left Trinidad on Wednesday (Jan 9th) morning and had looked at a present I had for Dionne that sat on my couch and said…I’ll give it to her when I get back. I arrived back in Trinidad on Friday night and before I could even get in my front door I heard that she had died of heart complications.
Death is not something I handle well and because not many people have died in my life, I don’t acknowledge them as being dead. I just put it in my mind that they “went” away and that I’ll see them again sometime. For Dionne, I put it in my head that she just moved away. At her funeral, I didn’t even venture near the coffin. I didn’t want to see her.
So imagine being told about the memoriam ad in the newspapers. The mention of her name brought back up feelings that, as usual, made me very uneasy. All of sudden there stuff I realised that I had never dealt with or spoke to anyone about at all. I had to sit back a bit and sort through the overwhelming feelings that stirred within me. There were people I wanted to blame (my self included) and stuff I wanted to say but never did because maybe I wasn’t a good enough friend or a true friend to her. . I keep wondering if I had given her that present before I left, would it have made a difference. Would it? Kind of selfish to think that but honestly I just kept wondering what would have made a difference at that point. . I am not one to get too close to people but in talking to her sometimes, she provided some unique insight into my paranoia and continual mistrust of people.
It’s been for 4 years since her death and for the first time, I came to terms with the fact that I will never see her again. I would never hear her cuss someone or buss out a loud “steups” at something. I no longer have someone who understands what I go through when sitting in a restaurant feeling tortured by the lack of customer service I experience too often to mention. I miss seeing her dressed all in black toting her camera and hearing the bangles around her arm. I miss her bravery and her lunacy most of all.