Death is something no one wants to deal with nor know how to deal with it perfectly. Everyone has their own way of dealing at the immediate time but for others it takes a while to get through.
Last Thursday (17 October) marked the 4 years since a beloved friend, Chanel, past away from a brain tumor.
I was in highschool at the time, just a month and a bit into my grade 11 year, and in class. I hadn’t known what happend right off the hop but intutively knew something was up (and that it wasn’t good). I mean most of the girls in my class looked upset but two or three of them were sobbing their heads off and a fourth didn’t even show.
Not that I blame her; she had gone to Chanel’s house early that morning before school only to be told that she had passed away that morning.
I may not have known her well but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t know her at all. We hung out at lunch with a large group of girls and she was literally the light and shining of our graduating class. She was always challenging me to a game of “Tap Tap” which I could never refuse.
I am unable to remember a time when she wasn’t smiling or laughing during the one and a half years that I knew her. She loved playing basketball so much that it hurt to watch her playing in gym class and have a hard time dribbling the ball or running for long periods of time. But she never gave up. She never let us go easy on her; even though you could tell that when we were having co-ed gym classes that the guys were going easy on her.
In her last months, the first two and a half months of the school year, the girls in my grade (and some of the guys) made a huge attempt to go and see her as often as we could. Some went during breaks in school (I couldn’t – my grades were terrible and breaks were spent working on homework) but for the most part our all girls gym class spent the class power walking to Chanel’s house to visit her then back to school.
There was a point where I was unable to go see her anymore. Somewhere in my heart I knew that she was going to pass away soon but I kept refusing to believe it.
Every time I saw her it was obvious that her health was rapidly going down hill in front of my eyes and the difference between visits made it hard to continue. When I wasn’t able to go visit her I heard about her continuing decline from the other girls who went to visit more. I heard about how as the tumor grew Chanel was unable to sit up by herself and she would respond to someone talking to her by squeezing their hand. Some days she wouldn’t be able to open her eyes or even smile.
By the end Chanel had slipped into a coma.
I will admit that I have not quite delt with Chanel’s passing completely even though it has been 4 years. There are nights when I will sob myself to sleep or I catch myself thinking, “This would be so Chanel.” and I have to stop to remind myself that she is not here.
Dear Chanel (a poem of sorts)
Its been four years since Heaven had its missing angel come back home.
Though here on Earth it was too soon.
You were a friend in need, when anyone needed to talk, when anyone needed a smile. We knew that you were there.
The tears we shed are not just of sorrow but of joy!
Angel, you truly deserve those wings; no one can deny.
Heck no one can deny that they were touched by an angel either – not when you were around.
You gave hope, showed strenth, had faith as deep as the sea.
You never gave up, your enthusiasm for life was fast running like a tsunami where others would get lost in it.
Everyday your arms surround us; you care for us; you watch over us.
Everyday your memory never fades.
Chanel you will always be in my heart. I miss you more than I can say.