Saturday, February 24, 2018
When a friend dies.....
Life’s over suddenly. Slap! Bang! Finish! We had no idea it was coming. We have no choice. It has happened! We’ve just got to accept. The heart is breaking, the mind is refusing to accept. But that’s it! We’ll never see him/her walk again, call you by your name again, ask your advice, give you help, yes, that’s all in the past. This is how I felt when I heard that our friend Michael Stringer died. I knew he had a brain clot which was treated and didn’t leave him with much damage. I saw him in hospital where he was joking and helping other patients- his normal self. He is a qualified theatre nurse, or I should say, was. (That comes with difficulty) I remember him working with me when he would make sure everything was ready and session would go well. So, what happened at the age of 76? He had not been ill for over 20 years.
This is what I want to talk about. He would look up drugs he was prescribed, on the internet and been horrified by the side effects. Who in their right mind would prescribe these! He had his own mind on many matters. Perhaps that was what went wrong. Yes, the drugs we use have good and bad effects. There is no perfect drug. We use them on balance for their benefit. We accept the ‘lesser evil’ of the good effects against the ‘greater evil’ of their bad effects and we put patients on them. But he decided what to take and not to take.
So now his form lies motionless in a hospital mortuary. Impossible now to do fantastic photography with a high-class camera which he saved for a while to buy, impossible to do beautiful paintings, to study diatoms with portable microscope on the Sea front and impossible to look for new planets in the sky with a telescope. He will never do them again. And Joe and I will never have a chat with him in our sitting room enjoying a cup of coffee. These mundane things or the memory of them is what is what is left.
So, let’s appreciate our friends now and show them we care for death is final. Let’s meet more often while we can. That goes for family members too. This life, as we know it, is short.
Rest in peace, Michael! We’ll never forget you!
From: Zita Perera Subasinghe