For Kate, who might read this from Heaven

I was waiting for the longest time, she said. I thought you forgot.

It is hard to forget, I said, when there is such an empty space when you are gone.

Brian Andreas

Dear Kate,

I called your number last night. It was late, and I was writing, and sipping tea, and playing music softly in the background, all alone in the big empty city house. It was so late that it was early, because really it was tomorrow, but since I hadn’t been to bed yet it was still technically today. Right?

And I knew that this would make total sense to you, so I called your number. You were always such a night owl. I could never ring you in the morning but the night was your time. So I called your number, like I had a hundred times before. A thousand times even.

But it’s not your number now. It belongs to some old guy called Tom. I know this because Tom answered even thought it was one-thirty in the morning. I had completely forgotten you aren’t here anymore. So I expected you to answer, and I rushed right in, mid-thought, and no greeting, like we always did when it was late or way too early, and we had something on our minds.

“Wanna know something stupid but so totally logical?” I started.

“Sure,” croaks this old guy, Tom.

And because it is late and I am almost stoned from exhaustion I keep talking for a good few minutes before I stop, inhale sharply, realise that you are dead and I can’t possibly be speaking to you, and I say, “Sorry, God, I’m so sorry. Who is this I’m speaking to?”

Tom tells me his name. He is eighty-six, he adds. You don’t sleep much at eighty-six, he tells me, and anyway, I sound much more interesting that talk-back radio, so please don’t hang up.

This is such a Kate thing that I am almost crying with laughter as I recount it now. The ridiculous randomness and yet absolute perfection of the moment. Tom is in Melbourne, in lockdown. You’ve missed all of that. This COVID thing. Did you know you’ve been dead nearly ten years? Yep, I guess you do. But the ache in my heart makes it still feel like yesterday sometimes.

So, Tom was lonely, and I was lonely, and his wife is dead, and my friend is dead, and my husband and my dogs are over the border at our farm and because of COVID we can’t be together, and Tom and I talked about that and we both made tea, and we drank our tea and chatted deeply about love and loss and growing old and losing friends and pets and being alone in a house when you can’t sleep and how the world is crazy but still worth living in. And then when it was time to hang up I apologised again, and said that I’d delete your number, which is now Tom’s number.

Don’t, he said. You might need to call your friend again. You won’t wake me up. I’m a real fruit bat and I never sleep before dawn. You can call me any time love, thanks for the chat.

So, my darling Kate, I tried to call, and I got Tom instead, who asks that you look out for his wife Daphne, who was always partial to sponge cake and strong tea with too much sugar. It was the diabetes that got her. I think you’d get on fabulously.

Now I’m crying, not from laughing, but from missing you, and it’s all okay, and it’s all not okay, and that’s just how life is. Messy and wonderful, and good to the last drop, even when it hurts like a bitch.
Love you muchly, Kit-Kat.

I might call our friend Carls today, at a respectable hour, or at least shoot her an emoji-laden text message after 6am. Carly gets loss, and she’ll also totally get the whole ‘night where it’s tomorrow but it could still be yesterday on a technicality’ thing. She’s a morning girl, so I am assured that she’ll pick up. We can catch up for a coffee and some girly gossip, and tell stories about how fabulous you are/were.

See you round like a rissole, babe. I like to think that Venus in the night sky is secretly you. The biggest brightest star. Ride wild and free.
Biggest hugs and all my love, Nickster xx

Hi! I'm Nicole Cody. I am a writer, psychic, metaphysical teacher and organic farmer. I love to read, cook, walk on the beach, dance in the rain and grow things. Sometimes, to entertain my cows, I dance in my gumboots. Gumboot dancing is very under-rated.
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19 thoughts on “For Kate, who might read this from Heaven

  1. I just cried and cried … I just lost a friend and the godmother to my Bailey last week , a hiking accident…she would of turned 63 on 9/9 but she felt much younger . We were best friends and had many adventures together…but we had had a falling out and she had hurt me badly … I had moved to Qld and she didn’t even come to say a goodbye that was almost my final confirmation just to let it go . But now my Beautiful Barbie Girl is gone . And we didn’t get to make up . The strange thing is at 9:30 pm the night of her birthday I had this important message in my head you must plant those roses 🌹 now today the 9/9 I didn’t really know why I didn’t know she was gone yet but I had found the felt wool gloves 🧤 she had given me in a draw I rarely open that day and thought about her. So now I have placed a burnt piece of Amethyst that I had retrieved from the ashes when she had a house fire 🔥 5 years ago next to the rose 🌹 that’s now Barbs rose. I’ve been looking at her Facebook page and even tried to add her (my account we were friends on got accidentally deleted and I had never added her to my new one) feeling silly like somehow we can still be friends with a simple FB friend request . Wow I’ve written a story it somehow felt like my thoughts needed to come to life. Love you Barb and sending love to all the friends who have left their human body 💛 so glad to have the memories

  2. Nicole, THANK YOU so much. I am so sorry for your loss and so sorry for the missing and loneliness you’re feeling. I wish I had a way to lift it and do something about it. I WISH.
    I say thank you because you made me feel less alone. You made me feel visible and heard and seen even if I didn’t say a word. Today marks 5 months since I lost my best friend and soulmate and yesterday I said something in a comment on facebook that was interpreted as a joke (I totally get it) but I was sobbing. I did forget the sound of my own voice. Since my friend died, I have no one to say good morning to except through comments, not even the phone. I don’t hear my own voice anymore. I feel so stupid because next week is my birthday and I’m dreading the fact that this year there will be no birthday card in the mail (it was the only one I get). Loneliness is horrible. I’m sorry

    1. You are not alone. I lost my best friend 10 years ago and it feels like yesterday, but I still talk to her all the time. I th I no sometimes u get s little sign back even. Loss is so awful and hard. Wishing you a very happy early birthday and that this year is filled with love, happiness, and friendship for you. Xoxo

    2. Oh Nikky , darling girl , I’m sending you so much love and many many hugs . Happy birthday for next week ok ? Thinking of you from South Africa . Xxxxjenny

    3. We are here for you, Nikky, and you will always have a place in our community. I’m sending so much love your way. Come join us in the colour and cuppa sessions and we can all have a good old chat. I’m so sorry for the loss of your best friend – I know exactly how that feels. (((HUGS))) xoxo

    4. Thank you so much Nicole, Thank you GM and Jenny. I rarely nowadays get out of my shell and express how I feel. I’m glad I did as it’s nice to feel the support and that someone out there cares. Thank you so much.

  3. Nicole – I am sorry for this Covid loneliness that has been thrust upon you.
    But as an Old Chronic Fatiguey – I know you know the territory.
    It is so precious at these times to remember you are loved and those you have loved.
    I would say you gave lovely Old Tom some deep shared comfort and I am so glad you found some too.
    Your Kate sounded like quite a girl – and grief can pop up when the soul is doing the hard stuff in life.
    You are so much loved Nicole – and I am asking 100 thousand Angels to quietly walk with you today.
    Loneliness is nothing to be ashamed of – even though as humans we can feel that it is.
    Thank God for lovely old friends – even if we can only reach them in our very sweet precious memories.
    I hope you have a blessed little cat nap today.
    And yes – of course Kate knows exactly how you feel – but more than anyone – I know you know that.

    1. Yep, Sue, you know it. I think COVID has thrust loneliness on us all in some way. And it’s hard, missing the kind of friend with whom you shared something you haven’t been able to share with anyone else, but that’s the magic and wonder of life, isn’t it? It’s so true that as as ‘Old Chronic Fatiguey’ I know the territory. I’ve been living in some kind of lockdown most of my adult life. It was good to talk with Tom in the late and early hours. I feel blessed that Kate’s number was reassigned to him, and that we were able to ease each other’s long night. Thanks for the love up. You’re a treasure! Big hugs xx

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