Remember November

'Remember, remember the 5th of November', Remembrance Sunday, Thanksgiving, they all have November in common. My birthday, too, falls in the centre of the month. This year November has compelled me to remember; to remember history, to remember those who fought, to remember my own history, to remember to be thankful. Today is Sunday the 14th of November: Remembrance Sunday and the 4 month anniversary of my friend's death. Poignant, significant, ironic...these words all come to mind as I reflect on the day.

I've struggled this week. I've felt restless, unsatisfied and depressed. Most nights have been spent roaming the corridors of my mind trying to shut the doors of the rooms that were stressing me out and letting the light flood out of those that were giving me peace. For some reason the 'life-is-changing-I'm-so-not-ready-for-this' door was wedged open despite my desperate attempts to close it. In my final struggle to push the door to and finally enter the land of nod this terrible gust of grief whizzed through my mind, winding me and reopening my wounds. I cried for the first time in months. I suddenly realised that everything else I was struggling with, my frustration, depression, anxiety, they all stem from this pain. It's still so intense, most of the time my body and brain refuse to acknowledge it, they blame it on an overloaded schedule, on moving to university and unresolved conflict and whilst these things have had an affect on me, it's all escalated by the loss of Annie. There's a part of me that assumes that I'm over it, I'm paranoid that other people expect me to brush off the dust and pick myself up in the way you do after a break-up. But this is SO much bigger than that. There are always new relationships to look forward to and if it hasn't worked out with a boyfriend, it's probably because you're not compatible. Annie and I were compatible, not in a romantic sense of course, but in a sisterly way.

There is a part in Jane Eyre when Mr Rochester tells Jane that they are like long lost twins and that when she leaves him the special bond they share will be broken and he will bleed internally, eternally. I'm still bleeding. It's not always noticeable, sometimes I can barely feel it but other times it's searing, burning. I've been trying so desperately to believe in God's goodness, trying to see the purpose and reason behind her death, but there have been moments this week when the whole thing has seemed so unjustifiable. I feel robbed. I want her here, I want her to meet my new friends, I want the life we planned in Bristol together.

November has rudely tickled awake the pain of old memories and the fear I used to feel about the future. As I've reflected on my 18th year, with all it's trials, adventures and fun, it's frightened me how different my life is now. Everything changed. I've learnt and lost so much, and whilst I've also grown enormously in my faith and as a person, I'm still a little overwhelmed. The carpet has literally been pulled out from under my feet and I've been left suspended in midair wondering what happened to the floor. I just wonder and dread where this year will take me. Hopefully on to greater, more positive things.

This is one of the last photographs of Annie. I like to think it represents her looking back from heaven, reassuring us that she's there in a better place. A gift from God to her friends and family to help us in our grief.
Today I look at it and think: 'Wow, that's one of MY best friend. How did I get so lucky?'

Here's the link to her twitter. Gives you a glimpse of the person I'm missing:!/angharadclague


  1. I think you're doing the greatest honour to Annie by recalling her with such poetic and graceful words.

  2. When I read this yesterday I didn't know how to respond or what to say. I thought I can't ignore it or you might think people don't care. I think you're going through a pretty rough time.
    I was reading about Saul last night and it was about him getting depressed. At that point I stopped and prayed for you. I felt compelled to.
    I don't know what else to say.