SLP 10: An End

Many things have happened this past week. Many happy things, but unfortunately also some sad things. The happy things include being loved by friends, family and a loved one and as a matter of fact it was the first time in my whole life someone told me he loved me. The sad happening is how my grandmother’s little sister suddenly past away.
So in her memory I do not wish to continue this post with my SLP’s, but to just leave it at this.

R.I.P. Grandma R. You’ll always be in our hearts, watch over us and guide us as we try to follow our paths.


Monday Night; 2nd of May, 2011

It’s night and I hear my mother scream. I immediately get up and my first thought is: ‘It’s back again’. While I run downstairs I can see my mother running down the stairs going into the living room. I’m confused because I had expected her to be in the bathroom. What’s happened if that what I had thought had happened, didn’t happen? Then what did? My parents room is lit and I see my brothers standing outside their rooms too. I see my father coming out of my parents room and he sees the question written on my face. ‘Your aunt has passed away’, he tells me. Mother needs me, is the first thought that comes up in my mind and I run downstairs to the living room. I see my mother crying and screaming, but there’s nothing I can do for her then to hold her. We can’t sit down because she keeps sitting up and down. She wants to get her coat to go outside, but I don’t want her to leave because I think she’s going mad. ‘Uncle’s coming to pick me up to go together’, she tells me and I allow her to get her jacket. Meanwhile we’re sitting on the couch, while I’m holding her in my arms. In the whole time I haven’t felt anything. I have an internship to go to tomorrow, crosses my mind, but it’s already late and I have to get up early tomorrow. I should go to bed, shouldn’t I? I see my brother coming downstairs and he walks towards us. For a second I leave my mother as I walk towards him. ‘Mother needs you’, I tell him and I go to bed again. I only allow one tear to leave my eyes before I fell asleep. 

The next morning the sun is shining again. I don’t see anyone at home, so it’s almost like nothing had happened. Was it all a dream? Maybe nothing had happened last night and it was just my imagination. I still don’t feel anything. ‘My aunt has passed away, but I don’t know what I should do or feel. I’m confused’, I text my best friend. After that I close my mind again and I go to the hospital where I have my internship. The whole day is filled with interesting and new things and I learn a lot. Though I don’t know if I’m allowed to, and I normally don’t do it while I’m at the hospital, I keep my mobile phone in my pocket the whole time while I was sitting next to the doctors and observing how they did their jobs. A couple of times the subject ‘death’ comes up, but still I can’t manage myself to tell the doctor ‘My aunt has passed away last night’. No, that would make it real. We can’t have that happen can we? Only now we can still pretend nothing has happened. No one has passed away, nothing has happened last night, it was just a regular night, nothing has happened, it’s all okay. During lunch break I call my father to find out how my mother was doing and he tells me she still isn’t home yet and he hadn’t heard from her. I feel the tears coming up, but I manage to suppress them and I end the conversation. The rest of my internship that day is just as emotionless as it was in the morning; I do what I have to do and I go home again. On my way home I can’t think about anything so I just stare outside the window. At home I see my father and my brother who were already at home. I greet them with a smile and walk upstairs to my room. My curtains are closed so my room is dark. ‘And now?’, I ask myself. I text the same friend I had texted in the morning to ask her if it was a right time for her to call her and she immediately calls me back. We talk for a while and I explain her the situation. Finally I cry. All of those tears that had been bottled up inside the whole day finally come out. I about scream because of the pain I’m feeling. I have never felt like that before. We make an arrangement that she would come to visit me that weekend after my aunt’s funeral and that promise makes me calm down. I know beforehand that I would need my friend afterwards to cry on her shoulder, because I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. I’m happy that I have a friend like her whom I could trust upon in such times when I felt so miserable, lonely, confused and sad. In a way I manage to get through that week while taking care of my mother, studying and not crying. For a while I don’t want to be selfish, because I know that my mother was the one who needs me more than I need her. I know that in that weekend after my aunt’s funeral I would have my best friend by my side and I could finally let all of my emotions loose. That would be the time for me to be selfish and to cry, but not now, now I had to care for my mother. My time to be cared for would come, I was sure of that.
The day of the funeral approaches and finally I’m able to cry again while supporting my mother and my other relatives. When I go home again I receive a text message from my friend, saying she wouldn’t be there that day, but the day after. I trust her, so I patiently wait for her to come the day after. ‘I thought you said she’d come today’, my parents ask. ‘Yes, but her planning wasn’t made properly, so she’ll be here tomorrow’. Tomorrow would be my time, it would be finally be my time to be selfish and to cry in someone’s arms. I don’t want to bother my brothers with my pain, because I know they felt that same pain and I don’t want to hurt them even more. Therefore I put all my trust in my friend, she would come the next day, I was sure of it, because she’d said so herself. Tomorrow came and I get a text again. She had overslept and because of the travelling time she choose not to come anymore. It feels like someone had slapped me in the face. No, it was more like I was stabbed in my heart. After exchanging some text messages again she decides she wants to come after all, but it’s the same time that I decide that I don’t want to see her anymore. I have already enough going on in my mind and my heart, so I don’t want this to add up on it too.
My head and my heart have been locked ever since. I was only able to talk about it with those who had been through comparable situations. Only in superficial ways though; still I wasn’t able to tell anyone what had happened besides my aunt’s death and being left by my best friend. Though I still don’t know if it was the right decision, but because I was hurt and confused I did tell some people about how I was being left in my most weakest time by one of the persons I’d trust most. I never talk bad about my friends to others, but this time I was too hurt in many ways that I had to get it off my chest. Besides that, many other things had happened that nowadays still aren’t solved and which we have in the back of our mind everyday. Sometimes I think it’s a bit stupid that I’m still not over what has happened, because it was such a long time ago. It’s like the more time that passes the more I tell myself I can’t be sad about it anymore and I should accept it and deal with it. I have tried, but I can’t, not by myself, no. Last December was the day when she was supposed to celebrate her birthday and only my mother was able to cry openly about it. I only cried at night when no one saw me or knew about my pain. I couldn’t talk about everything, but I did open up about certain things to one of my friends. That period was also the first time in my life that someone stayed up at night to talk to me. Just small talk, but it was all meant as a consolation. It comforts me to know that even when I think I’m overreacting and I should stop there are people who think I’m not and that I am allowed to feel how I feel.

Only one and a half month and it’s been a years since it happened. It’s on the same day I have a retake of an exam. I wonder who I’ll choose to trust upon this time. Maybe no one.

I have to play this song silently, because I know my mother won’t be able to handle hearing this song that was played during the funeral. Though this song makes my mother cry, it only makes me calm down and happy when hearing it. If someone would be so kind to translate the lyrics for me, please let me know.

Norwegian Wood

‘Death exists, not as the opposite but as a part of life.’

This story isn’t about the people who die, this story is about the survivors, those who have to continue to live. If only for the sake of living.

When 17-year-old Kizuki suddenly commits suicide, he leaves his best friend Watanabe and his girlfriend Naoko behind. ‘Continue to live’ is what they’re supposed to do, but that’s easier said than done for the survivors; does being able to breath, talk and read, mean that you’re living? When a loved one has suddenly died in such a way, time seems to stop for those who are left. It’s not living, nor dying; it goes beyond that, almost emotionless, but painful when you allow yourself to feel the pain. There’s only the emptiness one’s trying to fill with nothing more than mindless conversations, travelling and reading, which all seemed like nothing more than running away.

That’s how Watanabe attempted to continue his life, by moving away from the place where in one moment all of his certainties had crashed down. Naoko did the same and though they’d parted ways, they did meet again in Tokyo. Mindless conversations followed and not a word was spoken about Kizuki. At the moment of Naoko’s 20th birthday Watanabe accidentally spoke about him, which caused Naoko to run away again.
Is it ‘love’ that made Watanabe wanting to care for Naoko? Or was it that he felt responsible for her, since his best friend wasn’t there anymore to take care of her?

The same goes for Naoko; did she want to be with Watanabe because she loved him? Fancied him? In what way? Did she want comfort? Did she feel guilty for what happened with Kizuki? Did she might wonder: ‘Was it because he didn’t love me that he’d committed suicide?’
To continue to live for those who are left is an extremely hard thing to do. Naoko did try, but because she couldn’t do it on her own her parents sent her to a sanatorium in the mountains of Kyoto. By breathing the fresh air and being surrounded by nature everyone hoped this would be her cure, as a broken soul is a disease too. With the love she received from Watanabe it almost seemed like she did became better, but nothing was less true as eventually she died too.
‘Your presence is painful to me!’

After all that had happened Watanabe eventually chose to stay strong, to live and to grow up. Time had stopped when Kizuki was 17 and again when Naoko was 21, but now he felt it was about time he continued to live.
Midori, a former classmate of Watanabe, had a major influence in this decision. She tries to seem like a smart and almost cunning girl, but in the end all she wants is comfort and the certainty of being loved and not being left. Because of his feelings for Naoko, Watanabe almost seemed blind towards Midori, as if he couldn’t see her desire for comfort or simply ignored it because he didn’t want to be bothered by it. In the end he did love her, maybe in a even more real way than he had loved Naoko.
What it is that makes two people love each other anyway?

Never before was I this touched by the emotions of a movie character. As if he was standing beside me in my room and I could feel his pain radiate through everything, it hurt me too. This raw acting wasn’t acting; it was real, it was all real and it took me some time to realize that it wasn’t.

Everything was presented in a raw and real way, nothing was made more beautiful than it actually was. But just as it is the imperfection of a person that makes him perfect, it was because this movie seemed so real to me, that it was beautiful. It didn’t try to make the viewer cry, it simply told the story of something that could have happened and that itself was painful enough.

After reading this, please listen to the soundtrack of the movie here. The music had in my opinion a great influence on presenting the story in a raw way.
Reading the book this movie was based on is the next thing on my to-do-list.