Monday 7 October 2019

Six Steps - the Thin Line Between Life and Death.

Hello everyone.

It has been a minute since I have written here now. I did not intend for this - I have half a dozen posts half written here - but it is hard. This platform was Kinga's - not mine - to share her passions, views, and occasionally, her vulnerability. This place gave her an outlet and a sense of purpose. Now, she is gone - and this space cannot be used for that any more. I have written tributes, and brought light to some of her best posts (and fully intend to do so again). I have touched on  my own grief - and may do so again in the future... But I feel this space is really her legacy. I don't wish for it to die - but I do not want my own self or agenda to fully take it over. It is a difficult balance. This place was her baby - and for as long as I live, I want it to stay that way.

But as I just said... It is hard. It is hard to accept that we live in a world that is void of her light - a world where she cannot share her voice or create any form of direct impact. Outside of this place... Her primary legacy will be her death. If the general public remember her at all - that is what they will remember her for. I think that is why this space - the space where she shared herself - is so goddamn important. This place will live on for as long as the internet remains - and I am alive to pay for the domain.

What inspired me to make this post is unavoidably, a very deeply depressing sentiment. last week, I went up to the roadside memorial - I go there every month or so, to maintain it and keep it visible to everyone who drives there. In the early days, I found comfort in doing this - it felt like I was honouring her. But as the shock of her death has worn off somewhat, it has really become what it is - the place where she took her final breaths on this Earth. A place that is marked - still to this day - by the faded remains of her chalk outline.

Well, on this occasion, I did something I haven't done before. I counted the steps she would have needed to take to make it to the safety of the bridge path. Whilst the criminal investigation is still - over nine months on - awaiting a formal charge, and I can't really talk about the circumstances (although I have a hell of a lot to say once I can)... I can say that if she'd have managed to takes six more steps up the hill with her bike, she would still be here today. I have been told that 'what ifs' are par for the course with grief - but it is a truly a - bordering on impossible - set of factors that brought her and the driver to that exact place at that precise time. If she had been just two or three seconds faster - or the driver just two or three seconds slower - had she been able to make those six measly steps - she would still be here. She would be writing here instead of me.

I guess the point of this post is to highlight the fragility and unpredictability of life. To know that we are not safe - that are our actions have consequence. I doubt there are many that go out with the intent to kill - but there are many that think it won't be them that kills someone. No healthy person wakes up expecting to die - but it can happen to anyone, at any time, in reality.

The same day I visited the roadside, on the road before the one she was killed on, I saw two separate drivers on their phones - one of whom very nearly hit me. These drivers inevitably did not go out with the express intent of killing anyone - but their actions could have. The man that killed Kinga - as easy as it is in my brain to villainise him as some deeply evil, moustache twirling madman - almost certainly didn't intend to kill her. But he did. One man's actions took the next 50 or so years of a young woman's life - a young woman filled with so much potential - not long from starting her own family. A young woman that I loved more than words could ever express... And I am far from alone in feeling that way.

Since I last posted, Kinga would have turned 27. She didn't, though. Because she wasn't able to take six more steps. I spent her birthday with her at the cemetery. Playing music, drinking wine... Stuff we would have probably done anyway. She'd been go so long at that point that we hadn't even begun planning this day - not even slightly. I have no idea what we would have done. My own birthday was not too long after - and it was utterly meaningless without her. Had she made those six steps - these days would have had so much more meaning.

I try not to drown in what ifs. It's hard though. So hard. Six steps. Two, three seconds? There are so many ways in which that could have been made up. I could have influenced it too, really. No one could have known - except perhaps the driver - but her death is so preventable. It makes no sense - and even as we approach month 10 - the reality of it is that it never will. It only gets more senseless and confusing as time goes by.

Thank you all for reading. I have been hesitant to share this next picture around - but I figure anyone who has read down this far cares about her enough to see it. This is her headstone. I pretty much spend all of my spare time here. The words are mine - as are many of the decorations. The rest are from her parents... She is here now. The words don't do her justice really - but they are the best I could muster to describe someone as incredible as her.

Hold on to those you love. And act with consideration towards those you don't. It is all we can do, in the end. And never forget Kay's life - much less her death. 

'til the end of time, Cub.


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