I generally have a strict rule of not sharing my feelings on this blog, as I believe it to be distasteful in expressing emotions on personal matters to the world. However, this time I am overcome with a powerful sense of grief that will not go away unless I put my thoughts into writing. In light of the tragic passing of our beloved Ruth Attard, I wanted to share a couple of words.
I’m still trying to piece together the last conversation I had with Ruth at a reunion for the company we used to work for. I cannot really recall all the jokes and mundane things that we had talked about without ending up in garbled speech. I explicitly remember her saying that she was moving to the Netherlands, with a glimmer of hope and excitement in her eye.
Even though conversations always manage to slip away from me, I count myself as being lucky in having the ability to recall expressions and flickering images from the past. I will always remember that fixating ‘dentist friendly’ smile she used to have, and the way the sides of her eyes used to crinkle when she laughed. This is what I will remember every time I think of Ruth.
I always expected to experience such feelings in my golden years, when I had lived my life to the best of my ability and capacity. I have often joked with my friends about who would be the last one of us standing at the end of it all. Because let’s face it, we never expect to be seeing off our friends when they still have a full life ahead of them. Factor in the tragic circumstances of such a death, and it makes the situation all the more unbearable and unacceptable. It is true that all death is somewhat tragic, but this is different.
It takes such a tragedy to put everything back into perspective. We spend our lives worrying about money, finding a job, getting married, buying a house and this and that; yet we rarely ever stop to enjoy the moment and the people around us. If anything, I have to thank Ruth for providing me with a renewed perspective of how I want to live what time I have left on this Earth. If you happen to be reading this, and are as upset as I am, pick up that goddamn smartphone and call a friend or family member. People are irreplaceable, and anything else in this world becomes background noise when we lose someone dear to us.
Farewell Dear Ruth, I guess I will see you at the next EF reunion in the sky, where we can once again share past memories of St Julian’s mayhem with the rest of our friends and colleagues.
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A message of consolation to Ruth’s close friends – if you’re reading this, we can both grasp the gravity of this tragedy. Even though Ruth has passed away, the great white elephant in the room is still trumpeting away as we cannot speak about it. Reach out to others and share your feelings, talk about it, get angry about it, cry about it and do whatever you can to mitigate your grief.
Ellen DeGeneres always ends her talk show by asking viewers to “Be kind to one another” – and I implore readers of this post to do the same.