Pardon me for saying, but sometimes I find newspapers and news bulletins depressing.
Yes I know they are the facts of our lives, the world outside our window, and I regularly feel ignorant if I don’t know and see the bigger picture. Yet sometimes I find it all too much.
And here's another brutal, bare fact - I have an over sensitive soul.
I am the first to admit my glass is almost always half full. Most days I love life. And friends have applauded my positive nature.
But even the happiest of hearts can have a sad story to tell.
When I read a dramatic headline, or listen to a news flash covering a fragile, traumatic tale, I am often immediately transported to my seventeen year old self.
I hated being seventeen.
Over twenty years have passed since my seventeenth broken year, but when you’ve experienced the cruel consequences of life, it’s impossible to shrug it off completely.
If I read or hear about a fatal accident, a car crash, a loss of a beloved life, I feel that uncomfortable tightness of my throat and my eyes sting with bitter tears.
It could be as innocent as watching Coronation Street (top soap opera in the UK) and boyfriend will look at me, despairing of me and say, “You’re not crying are you Nikki?”
“Of course not!” is nearly always my reply, followed by sniffing or wiping my eyes.
It could be something more realistic such as The News At Ten, a news reporter detailing a pitiful family's situation, and the tightness and stinging begin and I think, “Oh God I get this, I know what this family is going through.”
Okay, you can never completely understand another person's unfortunate plight. I would never have the audacity to think I can imagine every pain and suffering every person may be experiencing.
But loosing a loved one, your life and your family torn into a million unlucky pieces?
I get that.
I don’t talk about my brother very much. Maybe I should. Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I prefer it this way. Maybe I wish I did keep his memory alive by talking about him more.
My world, our family’s world, our mother, our father, his fiancée, our aunts and uncles and cousins, his friend's world, was turned upside down on the 6th July 1991. I honestly never thought I, our mother, our father, his fiancée, our aunts, uncles and cousins, his friends, would ever get over it.
We still haven’t got over it. It’s not that simple. Death is not a cold which will pass in a week or so. Death is final.
We’ve just learnt to live with it.
Some days I miss him so much it physically hurts. An aching empty chasm of pure wretched loss.
Some days I will think about him and laugh fondly at his memories. I will feel comforted by remembering his fierce protectiveness of me, and his wonderful, kind, caring, decent nature.
Some days I feel a huge sense of injustice in this world and all we have to learn.
He was only 23 for goodness sake.
He had so much to give and look forward to.
No I do not often talk about him. I still have acquaintances and colleagues who have no idea he ever existed. I feel terribly guilty for this. But I can’t bear to talk about him, his endearing attitude and his bags of charisma, to people who might feel uncomfortable or wish I had never mentioned him.
Sometimes I think how dare I write a blog with insignificant careless things and not write about him? In my darkest days I am riddled with this guilt.
He deserves to be written about. It’s the very least I can do.
So I have.
Sorry, it’s all kind of over spilt. I guess I’m not always as guarded as I thought.
You can probably understand now why I find newspapers and bulletins often depressing. And why I can admit to having an over sensitive soul.
So would you excuse me if I read a light hearted magazine or a Harry Potter book, if one day I find a certain newspaper article too much to bear?
I think, I hope, I’m sure, my dear brother would understand.
God bless you Lee.
I sure do miss you big bruv. x