gek (Afrikaans)

Even though it seems abnormally morbid and unforgivably self-indulgent, I surely can’t be the only person who has – along with the panicked, desperate suicide notes – mentally written longer, heartfelt goodbye letters?

Sometimes, these letters I’ve mentally written come after an imagined diagnosis of some aggressive dead-in-a-week cancer or some rare unnamed disease, quick to put me out of my misery but long enough to compose literary masterpieces of emotion and love.

I’ve also imagined frantically writing text messages as planes I fly in free-fall to the ground or buses plummet off cliffs, everyone around screaming and wailing and me, calmly seated, typing quick yet remarkably well-composed goodbyes.

I imagine the Facebook status I may post in my final moments.

In my worst moments, mind driven away with paranoia, fear and exhaustion, some passive-aggressiveness creeps in: why didn’t you stop me? But generally the content is gratitude, regret, apologies and affection, whether I’m mentally scrawling hopeless notes in imagined final moments, tapping out calm texts as chaos reigns or taking time to compose individual letters.

I have my goodbye letters typed up and saved these days. I don’t know if I’ll ever send them but it feels right to have them ready. And I don’t suppose for a second that that’s normal.

 

 

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