It was just like old times. But something was wrong. We were all in the room, but someone wasn't really there. Hugs from strangers, hugs from someone you were never quite sure actually liked you. Tears, too many tears. People you didn't know recognising you, and asking how you were. Memories, so many memories. Laughing at our childhood selves. Awkward silences. Lapsing into memories you can't share, you want to keep for you. Promises made to never let ourselves fall but out of touch again. Don't let something like this bring us back together.
We said goodbye to Scott yesterday. For so long, he fought a losing battle, and now he could rest, safe in the knowledge that so many people cared about him. When he died, on Friday, his community sprang into action, raising just under £1000 in his memory. In any case, this is wonderful, but then take into consideration that this is one of the poorest areas of Glasgow, and your heart warms even more at the sense of community. There was a service at his parents house before the crematorium, and even in a big flat, the peole there spilled out into the street. He was so loved. I gripped the hand of a girl I used to know, and we shook with grief. It wasn't fair. It still isn't. But it was the raw, painful screaming from his mother that set us off. This amazing woman, whom we all loved as children, completely broken. My hands are shaking even now at the memory. No mother should ever have to bury their child. She was so upset she couldn't stand up. Her sons, her lovely, strong devastated boys, carried their mother out into the waiting car before squaring their shoulders and going back to carry their brother out. If I live to be 104, I'll never forget the strength of these brothers, and the anguished pride I felt in having known them.
At the wake, Scott's mother invited all his friends back to the flat for a real "Scott's" party. His idea of a party? Get really really drunk and sing to the top of our lungs. Of course, we did both. Drinks in hand, in a big group hug, we sang along to Scott's favourite, "No Woman, No Cry". Badly. But we all smiled, laughed, and made fun out of each other. His mum fussed around us, as usual, and got drunk with us, a small mercy that she'd be drunk enough to pass out when she got to bed. Scott left one legacy with his friends. We will not let years pass, and a another friend's death, before we get back together. We may not all hang together like we did "back in the day", but we will always keep in touch, always hit base every so often. Yesterday proved how much he meant to all of us. We can prove that by doing the one thing only he did, keeping in touch with everyone else.
19th October 1984 - 11 September 2009
Always in our thoughts, forever in our hearts.