I guess it never really goes away. I will admit, I don’t think, I think of you every day anymore, but I honestly can’t say. I know I still think of you a lot. More than I should.
It’s been years. Many years. Almost ten? I am ashamed to say, I don’t know anymore. I stopped counting days, some years ago. I guess that is a good thing, right?
So many things I wanted to say to you, that never felt important while you lived. So many things, I’ll always wonder, if they had been put into words, could it have saved your life?
I keep telling myself that one day, I’ll go to your grave site. Not for you, but for me, because I think I still need to talk to you. I just never go.
Your sister did invite me to one of those face book events, she hosts for you every year, twice a year, like clockwork. Birthday and death day. I guess I am not the only one, who still miss you terribly.
I have to admit, when I saw the invite this year, for your thirtieth birthday, I thought to myself, that this time, I will go. This time, I’ll leave a wild rose on your grave. I even looked up your cemetery on Google, and checked out how to get there. I just didn’t go.
I haven’t been by since you were put in the ground, and then, I was taken there, by a friend of ours. I never really knew the way. Now, I guess, I could ask someone to drive me, but it just doesn’t feel right. I have to go alone, someday.
Seeing the invite on face book did make it all come back. If you had lived, you would have been thirty today.
You would have been beautiful, still, your smile able to light up the world around you as always. You would have remained one of the most talented riders I ever knew, probably still competing internationally.
I would have loved you, always, but we probably wouldn’t have been friends anymore. Not unless you had walked away from it all. Was that what you did, in the end?
It feels so strange to write this to you, so many years later. Truth is, I cannot imagine what you would have been like now, if you had lived. I just know, you would have remained beautiful, in my eyes. Always.
I recently lost another friend, to the world of professional horse-sport, our differences finally splitting us up for good. I can’t help but wonder, every time I miss her, how this will play out. I could have sworn I would never let the equestrian world come between me and those I loved, ever again, not since I lost you, and here I am, letting it happen again, nonetheless.
Why? Because the welfare of the horses, the unwilling, not asked, animal in the sport, always took first place with me, and it still does. I just can’t help but wonder, if I had chosen differently, would you have lived then?
I guess, I place too much faith in myself. I probably had nothing to do with why you did it. The blame just doesn’t go away, even when confronted by reason. Truth is, no matter your reasons, I should have done better by you. I could have done better. I could have let you know how much I loved you.
I am editing the fourth book in my fantasy series by now, and reading it through, preparing it for release, you are on every page of this book. When I wrote it, the shock of your death was still new, and dedicating my poetry collection to you, writing songs for you, didn’t seem enough. I am a writer, I deal with life, by writing about it, even turning it into stories.
I wish you could have known, how you affected me. But wishing won’t do anyone, any good, I guess. It is far too late now, in every possible way. I couldn’t even stay friends with your sister on face book, because I had to keep being me, and campaign against FEI. I guess I never learn. I am sorry.
Happy birthday, Janis.
You are beautiful, like a star, but this world has seen a thousand stars, and only one of you.