Saturday, 16 January 2010

An Emotional Day; A Nostalgic Lifetime.

Yesterday I went to the funeral of one of my friends. We've known each other since we were maybe 5 years old and on the 1st on January she was taken away. A bunch of boy racers thought it a good idea to speed up onto a pavement and take down a group of people. The result? 600 people at a crematorium saying their goodbyes and remembering the times they spent with her.

Her name; Carrie Maclaren.

And it shall not be forgotten. I have never seen so many people turn up to pay tribute before. It was actually quite incredible. There were people from primary school, secondary school and university as well as family and all other places she crossed paths, all there. We filled two chapels and spilled out into the corridors.

I have never cried so much. Photos of Carrie were being projected onto the wall, showing her life. She looked so happy (and very often drunk). After the service we all filled into hall to catch up and reminisce. Hundreds of lanterns were let loose to rise up into the air. You can see the photo to the left. Unfortunately it isn't something you can really photograph all that well, but you get the idea. It was beautiful. It was amazing to see how many people cared about her. How one girl touched so many peoples lives. I was touched by the sight of it all. She was too young to have been taken yet, 20 year olds are not meant to die.

The experience showed me how many faces I've lost to the past. How many people I just don't talk to anymore, not for any real reason other than growing up and growing apart. It helped me realise how much time I waste to missed opportunities. From here I'm going to make a difference. To change. I'm going to try to be better because there is no point wasting my life away. There's just no point.

In times like this people turn to religion for answers. For reasons why and for promises of things to come. Religion makes death easier because it lets you believe the person didn't really die. That death is just a step towards something better. But religion also implies that life doesn't even matter as all it is, is the time before you die. The time spent waiting for that promise of something better. I don't believe any of this. I don't think.

But I do believe we're all just energy. I believe that nothing ever ends, just changes. Things move from form to form but never end. Nothing can just disappear, nor can it just appear. So I believe when you die you go back to nature in a way. You are part of the world and will always be part of the world. You may not have the sort of consciousness that comes with being human, but you still are. And this is where I find comfort. In the thought that we are all connected and part of the same whole. The thought that death is just a state, a process of transferal into another form.

What do you think?


  1. Wow what a moving article, as I sit here crying. I totally understand what you are saying here. I have lost so many in my life, so many important ones and I do know what you mean by relooking at your own path and choices. Taking the time to live so important. Thank you for sharing this very personal and beautiful article.

  2. I am sorry to hear of your loss and true about your thoughts on energy!Always my theory If our mind can create such extreme imaginative dreams when we are in our death zone (sleep) how can our mind just die along with us.An exquisite post and thankyou for the share.x

  3. Nicely written Pennie, I will second many of the things you have said.

    I have been extremely moved by this ordeal and yesterday was difficult but beautiful in so many ways. Watching all the lanterns flying up into the air is an image that will remain with me forever.

    The words that were spoken at the service have given me much to think about also. The fact that 'goodbye' means 'god be with you'. This universal term of farewell is used by all people irrelevant of their religious beliefs and I think it epitomises what you are trying to say about what is to be believed. I find myself struggling with similar issues, whether these things are accidents, a misuse of human free will or a part of a master plan designed by a deity. I am suddenly so aware of time and how it is overlooked. How certain phrases are never said to those we care about. How dreams take over reality...It seems I may need to start a blog of my own!

    All that remains to be said, is that Carrie was loved by so many people and I believe that wherever she is now, she is still smiling and spreading joy and enriching lives.

  4. One word, covering this post and Carrie, 'beautiful'.
    I miss her so much :'(
    I can't stop kicking myself for not saying the right things to her that night either. I hate myself for it, but love the parts of me she moulded in the years I spent loving her - and will continue to so.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. Carrie has touched so many lives in her short time that there is no doubt that she will remain in your lives and in your hearts for ever and ever.

    Your post is beautiful and so full of emotion. I read it several times since we tweeted and each time I read it, I was racked by sadness and guilt for not knowing Carrie. I want to say more, but I don't know what to say that will do justice to her short time on this earth.

    I love your take on the hereafter. The belief that we are all energy is strengthen by the fact that although our bodies occupy this earth for a relatively short period of time, it's our actions, our contributions that remain and continue to "power" when are bodies are no longer here.

    Carrie is no longer with us but she lives on in the energy that she transferred to everyone she touched.

    My condolences to you, Carrie's friends and Carrie's family. May she rest in peace.

  6. So tragic story. I'm so sorry for your friend.

    You're right about the energy, but in my religion, who lives will die and will be waking up on "the calculation day" and we're all collected in "a vast expanse of field" to have responsible for what we've done (good or bad) as long as we're alive in this world then after, we all go to d next immortality life (heaven or hell depends on the calculation). So, we'll be meet again in "a different life."

    My condolences to you, and to all who know Carrie. May she rest in peace.


  7. this is a brilliant and beautiful piece of reflection Pennie - thank you....and for the record, I agree with you 100% :)