Getting to the hospital was a nightmare, without traffic it would have taken us about five to ten minutes, with the awful traffic, it took us thirty minutes to get to the hospital! My life at that moment felt like an old French film, where in the end, the lover dies, life's tragedy. It felt like a huge atomic blow to my face. The pain was so intense that my whole being just shut down and became numb. I wished at that very moment I would die with him, or if I could exchange my life for death and he would live instead of me or some car would hit my car and both of us will once again be reunited, we just had a lovely Sunday together, why is this happening? The thoughts kept ringing in my head.
A classical tune started playing on the CD player, a mix that was given by his older brother, I don't exactly remember which symphony it was, but I am sure it was Bach. I had told him the night before that the symphony reminded me of my life, full of sad tunes, dramatic and full of happiness all at the same time. I turned around hoping he would wake up and say "Hey I got you! It was all a joke!" But there, I could see both of Mike’s and Fairuz’s faces pale and did not know what to say nor do.
Death is a strange phenomenon to grip and comprehend, like freedom, we all take it for granted and never for a moment think, this could happen to us, but life is always full of surprises, most times unexpected sometimes with some warnings. Life is brittle.
I screamed and cried and laughed at the same time. Fuck you god! Fuck you! Love was one thing I had always searched and craved for beyond anything else in life. Love or a million dollars? I choose love, because with love, you can work together in achieving the million dollars, but a million dollars with no love is as good as nothing. That's just me.
Finally we got to the hospital, straight to the emergency room, they took him away into the next room, all I could hear was the rustling sound of air bubbles from his throat, ghrrr ghrrr ghrr, as they tried to revive him with a defibrillator. In the meantime, I had to call his family back in England and his friends to let them know what had happened. Every time I told the story, clear visuals replayed in my head, over and over and over again, and the pain, unbearable. I had felt pain before, but this pain was beyond what I had ever experienced. At that moment, I didn’t think I would ever survive or I would ever forgive God and the Universe for taking the best thing in my life away. His family and friends at first thought it was an April Fool's joke, since he was such a joker, until they realized, I was not joking. It was not a joke.
I don’t remember how long we were there, waiting, just waiting for the doctor to come out and tell me the news I already knew. I was dead with him, I did not want to be the one who was left alive, the pain was both physical and mental, I was utterly confused as to why this was all happening. The doctor finally came out and told me that they could not revive him, that his heart was flooded with blood, they had to send him for a post mortem for further report. I could see him in a few hours down at their morgue.
A good friend of mine Sahara, came to the hospital to comfort me. I didn’t know what to say or what words could comfort me in any way. I went in her car and she drove me home, I went for a shower, change and just cried and cried and cried. I looked out the bedroom window, and the black bird that was always staring into our bedroom window wasn’t there anymore. It was gone and never came back. The black bird.
My cell started ringing, not just from friends but from our staff and managers we hired for the two events we did just the past week, not to ask how I was, but to ask when would they be paid. One manager whom we hired was his rugby team mate, he said to me, “So Simon promised to pay me extra”. I thought wow! I said to him, “Look, when it comes to company finances, how much we are supposed to pay someone, I know, we have it all on paper. You’ll get as per our agreement!” The cheek to call me on the day I lost Simon! My eyes, they were sad, but not asleep. Death is a funny thing, it brings out the truth in people, who they really are as a person, as a friend. An eye opening experience indeed.
After refreshing myself, my friend Sahara drove me back to the hospital, we went to the back of the hospital, where the morgue was. I saw some of our closest friends, his closest friends there, I said hi to everyone. My father taught me when I was a little girl, to always carry my composure in public, not to wail or cry too much, it wasn’t a proper thing to do.
I walked into the small hospital morgue, I saw Simon lying down on his back flat on this cold metal table. I went to him, bent down and whispered in his ears, this is not funny Simon, it’s time to wake up now please. I kissed his whole face over and over again, I ran my fingers through his soft black, thick hair, I kissed his forehead. I walked down by his feet and massaged them, I was hoping they would be warm, because if they were warm, it means he is alive. He must be. And it was all a mistake. Just a big mistake.
His beautiful feet were cold as ice. He looked happy, in peace, was not in pain. How is this happening? Why is this happening? My brain just couldn’t comprehend the logic of it all. My head felt light, numb.
The Doctor came down and said it was time to bring him to another facility for post mortem. So we all left and headed over to Hartamas. I went with Michael and Rose for something to eat at the local stalls, I don’t think I really ate. Then we went to Simon’s good friend’s bar and deli. I called a few people to make arrangements for his wake. Death more than birth, has so many arrangements that need to be made, where and when to have his wake, which church to have his funeral service, death certificate, flying his body back to England, the list goes on. Fortunately, on December 2004, on our holiday in Thailand, we had talked about our death wishes, what and how we wanted things to be. So I had a clear idea of what Simon wanted.
I called the Intercontinental hotel General Manager then, we did some work for them and got close to the GM and his partner, sorry I’ve forgotten their names. Death and Birth, two causes of memory lapses and forgetfulness. Anyway, he gave me a ballroom free of charge to use for his wake, I arranged for flowers from our Floral Vendor who was a good friend, tiger lilies, his favorite. I arranged his food from his favorite restaurant, Indochine, drinks and all his wishes and all free of charge, that was how much these people loved him. Then I handed it over to Jason, he said he would handle everything, because by then, I just wanted to mourn, I just wanted to not think anymore, I just wanted to drown my sorrow. So many arrangements.
By the evening, I was livid, angry, mad, with God, with Simon for leaving me and not listening to me to get himself checked. If only he had listened. I drank and said “Fuck you Simon” loudly. The pain was immense. That night Sahara came home with me and kept me company, Fairuz came too.
I feel there were too many deaths within those two years, first, my darling grandfather, then a good friend of mine, Joeth. And then, this. But, I am here. I never felt that kind of love from anybody, not from my mama or papa. My brothers love me, but I was always the black sheep, no one understood me for who I am or loved me for who I am, who I was then, no one saw me the way I see myself in the mirror. Simon saw me, his love was big, and he was the only man I never brought home to introduce to my parents and yet he was the only man then I should have. After he died, a few of our friends told me that he always wondered why I never introduced them to him. I just didn’t want to introduce another man unless it was for certain we were getting married. I found out that he was going to propose when we were in England for his sister’s wedding, but we never made it.
The next day, on the way to the airport to pick up his mom and dad, Fairuz was driving my car, I couldn’t drive at all, the car skidded and spun around, thank god, there was no traffic. And on the highway toward the airport, the tire got punctured. There was a reason why this had happened, the Sunday night before he died, he was quite mad to see she was in the apartment with Mike, he said to me, “Why is she here, I just don’t trust her.” Anyway, as the story continues, you will see why these two incidents took place.
Anyhow, we got the tire fixed and went to the airport to fetch Simon’s mom and dad. I was glad to see them but not for such tragic circumstances. Of course they wanted to hear what had happened, it’s natural. I was in immense pain, but now sitting and typing this, I cannot imagine or fathom how much more painful it was and still is for his mother. He always talked so highly and fondly of her, there was never one bad story of his mother, she was just perfect and she was, gentle, soft spoken, kind and feminine. He has a very loving mother.
The next day, we had a viewing at the Funeral Home, everyone came to pay their respects and to look at Simon. This was the first time I saw him after the hospital, his facial expression had definitely changed, he looked like he was in pain, after the post mortem. At that time I kept hearing him talking to me, making comments and whispering in my ears sweet nothings. How much he misses me and that everything will be alright. I stood next to his coffin the whole time I was there, staring at his beautiful face and talking to him in my mind.
Then I could hear a loud wail coming from the entrance, at that moment I could clearly hear in my head Simon saying to me, “Oh dear, here comes drama.” Maybe it was grief, grief made me hear his voice, a way to cope, but his voice was so clear at the time. I turned around and saw his ex girlfriend, crying and sobbing so loudly, she came up to the coffin right next to me, then she asked, “What’s on your mind?” It’s OK to ask, I didn’t mind the question but just her look, the way she looked at me and the vibe she was giving me, she was the last person I wanted to see, I honestly felt like strangling her with my bare hands. What the fuck do you think is on my mind you bitch, pardon my French. By then, I was sick of listening to insensitive remarks and questions. Just because I did not cry loudly in public meant I was celebrating Simon’s death? Self reflection please. That was all just in my head, I didn’t say anything to her. I kept my silence and completely ignored her and kept staring at his beautiful face.
The night before the Church Service I couldn’t sleep. I was trying to write a speech but could not get anything out of my head, I was just lost, numb. I finally dozed off on the sofa and found myself in a very lucid dream, I was at Simon’s church service, giving my speech, I saw myself talking about Simon and at the end, tears rolled down my face and I could hear, “I love you sweetheart, that was a beautiful speech.” I woke up straight away and wrote down my speech, exactly what I dreamt.
When we discussed about our Death Wishes, we both agreed that we did not want anyone to wear black. White and colors he said. I wore white I believe, my memory needs some revamping! The funeral went well, after the Church Service I asked Mike if everything was arranged. He said yes all is well, the only thing was we were doing it at the Irish Pub instead of the hotel. Only god knows how mad I was then, but it was too late, nothing could be done. So we went to the pub. Lots of vodka drank, stories of Simon shared, tears and so on. At the end of the night, I got a steep bill for the food and beverages, all this while I thought it would be of minimal cost, since I had arranged everything at the hotel and with all the vendors. I thought the reason we moved to the pub was because the owner was a good friend and wanted to do it at the pub in his memory. Human nature and greed is a very interesting phenomena. I was highly disappointed in both Mike and the owner of the Irish Pub who was a friend of Simon’s.
To be continued..