It feels strange to be back home already, with the expectation that life go on as normal. It feels like an extraordinary expectation when what was normal is no longer possible. But therein lies one of life’s tougher challenges, showing us what we’re really made of.
They were emotional and lonely days since first hearing that Nita was on life support, and then of her passing. Being so far away from her family and close mutual friends made me feel quite isolated in my grieving. That has thankfully been alleviated since travelling up north, however more time up there would’ve done me the world of good.
We stayed with close friends, Pete and Tania, and travelled to QLD to the funeral with them. Pete’s also Dad to Nita’s eldest son and her friend, so a lot of history for us both. Me bursting into tears was okay, and because Pete and Tan are the people they are, their family and home oozes love, warmth and compassion. Simply being in that atmosphere was comforting and healing in itself.
It was also bittersweet finally seeing the fourth member of our teenage brat pack. He and I had caught up on Facebook but hadn’t seen each other in 20 odd years. Nita and I talked about Justin often and I was so excited to be seeing him and kept wanting to call her and tell her he was coming – only we were going to her funeral. That was really hard to swallow, but I know how happy she would’ve been he was there. If only we’d made it happen earlier, and hadn’t taken time for granted…
It was such a beautiful funeral and the send off Nita would’ve wanted. She wasn’t perfect, but she was loved so much by so many – I hope she knew.
To me she was someone I loved, trusted and shared a strong bond going back over 30 years. She was also someone I know loved and trusted me. Our friendship was unconditional and I always felt better after our long talks, no matter what was going on. We’d offload to each other then laugh about it all, and I do and will, miss our close connection.
So life must go on, and it does, but it’ll never be the same. We just learn to live with our memories, find joy in them instead, and be grateful for what we had.
In loving memory of my dearest friend, Wanita Porter
11th May 1973 – 26th September 2018