Words I wish I didn’t have to write

The world lost a beautiful soul recently. One of those guys with the carefree smiles and enviable laid back attitudes. I knew him during my time in Mexico, the most significant year of my life, and throughout those crazy times he was a breath of fresh air to both me and my best friend; the calming, gentle force that could bring us back to earth when everything else seemed to be in meltdown.

It’s hard not to get angry at the world when things like this happen. When a lovely man dies way too young and the awful ones get to keep on living. Believe me, there is no silver lining to be found in the sudden death of a good man in his twenties. None. The shock of the news literally took the wind out of me. It’s a pain you can’t really describe unless you’ve experienced it yourself.

I hadn’t seen him in nearly a year. I didn’t know much of his life from recent times apart from snippets on Facebook and stories from my bestie. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less painful to hear that he’s gone. Much like any other of my travel friends, I expected to see him again, to catch up on the lapses of time between our meetings and create new memories together when I go to visit Berlin in the near future.

Trying to come to terms with the death of someone who lives so far away, who you haven’t seen in such a long time has its own challenges. You can’t attend the funeral and you’re not surrounded by other people feeling the same grief that transcends the borders and time differences between you. The most I feel I can do is to pay my respects, and so this little post, which will never feel like enough, is my way of doing that.

After having some time to come to terms with this heartbreaking news, I’m still angry. I can’t pretend I’m not, but I think that’s OK. However, now as well as being angry, I’m recognising that I need to focus on the positives too. Not in his death, but in his life. All I can really do is be grateful for the time that I knew him. So here it goes…

Thank-you Martin, for teaching me the joy in not taking life too seriously.

Thank-you for joining in to make me feel special on my 22nd birthday, the first birthday I ever celebrated away from home.

Thank-you for helping me to realise that it’s OK to take a step back sometimes.

Thank-you for demonstrating to me that no matter how badass you are feeling and no matter if you’re a 6ft+ tall German giant, no one can eat a spoonful of habanero salsa without immediately regretting the decision and projectile vomiting outside the taqueria. You classy man you.

Thank-you for the occasional, well-timed and all-too-necessary eye roll to help us see when things were getting out of hand.

Thank-you for taking a chance on the overly awkward “weird Jesus girl” you met on the induction day despite my dirty hippy fashion sense and terrible German skills.

Thank-you for the many chilled out nights in Rolando’s bar, a man you can now party with again, wherever you both may be.

Thank-you for repeatedly reminding me of the power of a good sense of humour, a warm smile and a cold beer.

And finally, thank-you for showing me the importance of doing what makes you happy above all else. Your life may have been cut far too short, but boy, did you live it well.

Schlaf gut, mein Freund. Nunca te olvidaremos. Love.

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