|In memory of
||[май. 12, 2005|07:28 pm]
I'm not sure if I should post it (a lot of it's stupid), but I guess I will now that I've written it.|
She was neither the first person I had known to die nor was hers the first dead body I had seen, but I think that Kristine Cadigan had a bigger impact on me then those that had come before.
The first death of someone I had met, that I am aware of at any rate, was my grandfather. I believe he was my maternal grandfather, but I cannot be sure at this moment. I do not recall the instant of his death, nor indeed even ever meeting him. However there are photographs featuring both of us indicating that we did meet. At what age did he die? I cannot be sure. Probably before I had turned six, maybe even before then. Whenever it happened I cannot say that it had that large an impact.
In my first year of university, I think it may have been my first semester, the first real death related to me occurred. This was the death of my grandmother, at the time my last living grandparent. While other elderly relatives had died in years previous I was unable to put names to faces as I saw them but rarely. Despite seeing my grandmother with, perhaps, the same lack of frequency, I can still recall what she looked like and specific memories of her. Her death has, however, had little effect on me. The brief shock led me to miss a psychology test, but the death of someone I was not particularly close to, saw only rarely and who lived thousands of kilometers away had little long term effect. I did not go the funeral (in Ireland) nor do I care that I did not go.
Several years ago the sister of my best friend in (I think) grade's five and six died. I do not remember her well (she was very tall to eleven year old me) but still, she was just a few years older then me and had died after being hit by a car. I do not remember exactly why I had stopped being friends with my friend, something incredibly stupid more then likely, but I wished that it had not happened so that I could help to comfort him and his family if needed. I went to the...celebration of her life? I am not quite sure what to call it, and found the death of a young person incredibly depressing. Part of the presentation lodged itself in my brain and today I hate the phrase "hoka hai" because of the memories it brings back.
Last year (or it may have been the previous year) two of my parent's friends in London, England died. I did not know them well, but I had met them and their deaths (one that of natural causes, the other murder) were shocking to me.
The bodies I have seen (in real life, for I have seen pictures of dead bodies before) are far more limited then this. Egyptian mummies (and perhaps other preserved bodies from around the world) in the British Museum (and perhaps other museums). But these are hardly seen as dead bodies. They are curiosities at which to gawk, removed of their humanity.
Three years ago there were the bodies at the kunstkamera (curiosity museum) in St. Petersburg, Russia. Room after room of preserved, deformed, babies. I found it incredibly distressing.
Again three years ago in Russia, Moscow this time, the first dead body that actually looked like a person. Vladimir Illych Lenin. He seemed to glow, he seemed as if he was merely asleep. It was a bizarre experience, made only stranger by the way in which he was presented (under a glass case in a mausoleum) and the armed guards surrounding him.
Last summer I again saw the Egyptian mummies, this time in Toronto, and I found it so strange to see them and for them not to be treated as human.
Then there is the case of one of my cats, Tango, who died while I was in high school, hit by a car. Alive one instant and dead the next. I did not see her killed, but I saw her body and even today I am saddened when I think of her.
Which brings us to the present. When one of my friends has died due to surgery complications only a week after her twenty first birthday. She was not one of my close friends, but she is probably the closest person to me to die so far in my life. I still find it hard to believe that I will never again see her take a photograph. Never again see her throw a frisbee. Never again see her.
Kristine, for my two years at the Muse you were probably my most dedicated photographer. You kept coming back despite the fact that I'm an idiot. You always loved taking photos, and I cannot express how glad I am that there was someone who desperately wanted to take photos of things I did not care about (namely basketball games). Your photos of these games were often better then the ones I took because you cared about what you doing, rather then I who saw it as one of the less positive parts of his job. I remember how happy you were when I gave you the printouts of your photos at the volunteer appreciation night. It was a small gesture on my part, but you really seemed to appreciate it. I only wish that we had more photos that you had taken so that your name could continue to see print for a long time to come. It probably will anyway.
You were also on the executive for the Ultimate Society. We didn't really do much, but we existed, we encouraged people to play ultimate, and we played ultimate. I remember when you skipped church one week to show up and play intramurals with us. I remember last summer when you ended up joining a team you didn't really know anyone on and winning the championship.
I remember you smiling, always smiling. Always trying your hardest at whatever it was you were doing, whether that was taking photos or playing frisbee. I regret not showing my appreciation for you more while you were alive, but things like this aren't even ones that show up in my wildest dreams. I am usually flying in different dimensions before something like this brings me back to Earth.
I have no religion, but know that you and your family do. It will probably bring them comfort, at least a little, while I will gain none from this area. I will think of my life and how I should live it. Do what I want to do so that I will have few regrets. Organize my life. Try not to worry. Do my best.
I will remember you in your coffin, that you were dressed in a way I think you would have wanted. I will remember staring at the flowers from the Muse and the Ultimate Society. Hearing lots of people recite something (the rosary) that just confused me. Meeting your sister and how she said you were always talking about the Muse.
But more often I will remember you laughing and smiling. Always smiling.