Somehow I always expected to hear that from my mum. She’s often at home, she watches TV and listens to the radio and often writes to me about what she heard on the news. Somehow I was sure it would one day come from her.
A notification that a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen for years shared a link on my facebook sounded just ok. One click. My favourite face appeared. And two sentences: “My condolences” and the title of the article “Writer Ludvík Vaculík Died“. They didn’t say where, why or how only that his life put out the lights at 2:20 p.m., in the middle of an ironically summer-like beautiful day.
Is it possible to be prepared for someone to die? Is it possible to expect it even when someone is 88? It was not possible for me. I tend to overfear losing my dear ones so yes, I was worrying but with him, lying to myself was easy, he seemed so strong, so full of energy, ideas and will.
Also we had scarcely seen each other in last two years and in the most honest moments I knew that this fact was protecting me from the future pain. We were in each other’s thoughts though, and would occasionally exchange a card or a note.
He had become a part of me already anyway and still was active in my words, thinking and art. My writing and various posts on social media kept returning to him, in them he kept reemerging like oxygen bubbles from mud, an obvious sign I’ve integrated him in my inward nutrition and that I missed him.
I missed him. Some two or three weeks ago I even wrote that to him asking if I could see him and hold his hand. What can I do now? He used to say that normal people do not write and that through writing we can defeat something we cannot defeat in the real life. Can I defeat the loss this way though? No. Sadness? Fear for other people I love? No. I can just admit that I’m not normal because I need to write. Ironically particularly now when my most devoted, encouraging and appreciative reader ever has died.