It was Nn's funeral on Monday. It was in Dundee. I went north on the train, staying in Edinburgh, and doing a day-trip to Dundee. I saw seals in the Tay as the train went over the bridge into Dundee station. Seeing them made me smile in the middle of all my terrible sadness, and in some odd way it seemed apt that I should see these wonderful, wild animals enjoying the sea whilst on my way to Nn's funeral, because Nn loved the sea, was a very keen surfer, and could be somewhat wild too. My older step-brother, Nl, took Nn's surf board to the funeral and placed it at the front of the chapel before the service. He talked about Nn and his love of surfing in the eulogy. The last time Nn used his surf board was with Nl a very short time ago and apparently Nn had been full of life...
...Nn's guitar was placed at the front too, along with a bottle of vodka and his Newcastle United shirt - all things that meant a lot to him and made a mark on his identity. Nn played himself out of the world - a recording of him playing his favourite song of his own composition was played over the speakers as his coffin went down into the whatever-it's-called-at-the-crematorium-where-the-coffins-go-at-the-end-of-the-service. He chose when to exit the world, so it makes sense to me that he played himself out when he left the world completely ... except that he can't take my memories of him away, or the Nn-shaped hole that he's left behind.
When on the train from Edinburgh to Dundee I suddenly felt like I didn't want to do what I was doing. I didn't want to be on the train to Nn's funeral and I didn't want to go. Except that I did want to go and I wouldn't have missed it unless there was no way I could get there or I was too ill. Really, what I didn't want was for Nn to be dead and for me to be going to his funeral, and I knew that going there would make it all too real and undeniable. It did. It is. It is all too real. But the funeral also made Nn's suicide more unbelievable. It has been shocking. I don't mean that in a 'how dare this happen' kind of way, but rather that I am shocked/stunned/surprised. Everyone was. My older step-sister, A, said as much in her talk during the funeral service - that absolutely nobody had expected this. You know, he'd been at work in the morning. He was due back at work later in the day. Instead he booked into an hotel room...
Some have said to me that I must surely be angry with Nn for killing himself. I'm not. I don't think I ever could be. Why would I be angry with someone, particularly a family member, for being so desperately unhappy? Yes, I am angry that Nn is dead, but that is far from being the same thing as being angry with Nn. He obviously couldn't fathom any other way out of his despair, and he made a decision not to suffer any more. I respect Nn. I respect his decision. He did what he had to do for himself, and I accept that, even if it hurts like hell that he's dead.
Nn is dead.
I still find that difficult to see on the page/screen. It's one of those things that makes it both too real and yet more unbelievable.
I don't feel like I'm being very coherent today. Maybe it's because I'm still trying to make sense of it all myself, and that I'm trying to make sense of my emotions that are all over the place. Right at this moment I feel a little disconnected from my emotions, like it's the safest place to be emotionally or I'll become overwhelmed and dissolve into tears again, which is what I do at regular periods throughout the day. Other times I remember Nn and I smile, or feel the remembered frustration that siblings can induce when you're young. A lot of the time I feel terrible, terrible sadness, and almost all of the time something is reminding me of Nn.
You know, it was my birthday on Tuesday. It felt almost inappropriate to have a birthday this year. I got home from Scotland around lunchtime and a little later on I met W in town. We went for a quick drink in the sunshine before my OU tutorial. I was exhausted and didn't really have it in me to concentrate very well through the tutorial, but I did the best I could, and then W, L (from my tutor group) and I went for another drink. I had several, partly for birthday celebration and partly for inappropriate mind-numbing. Nn would have approved.
I want him back.