Yesterday, my computer finally got sick of me and my email hoarding ways, and refused to let me send or receive any more until I cleaned out my inbox. I went into sent items, and found I had not deleted anything from there since August 2012. I started merrily deleting messages in big chunks without opening them, until the subject line of one, dated 5/10/2012 caught my eye.
At 10:53 am on 5/10/2012, I emailed my friends, and said:
I’ve just been told that I have breast cancer. Will be seeing my GP at 12:30 to get a referral to a surgeon. Sorry to tell you this so impersonally but it’s all I can manage right now
I have no recall of writing or sending that email, with its bizarrely unnecessary specifics (what the fuck does it matter what time the appointment is?), people-pleaser’s ultimate apology for not doing an individual ring around about my diagnosis (sorry? I mean, seriously?) and that missing final full stop which just leaves my words out there, trailing and flailing …
I’ve come a long way since then. Sure, I haven’t deleted a single email in the entire 769 days, but I’ve done a whole bunch of other stuff that I never imagined I would have to do, or be able to do, or live to tell about doing.
Other people’s lives also get fucked over by dreadful things. Some people get their share of fucking over, and then a bunch more just to be sure. One of them is the phenomenal Eden Riley, who at 2:16pm on 15/10/2013 texted her brother Cameron, and said:
Hey Cam, how are you going today? Xx
Cam never responded to that text, because he had died.
Over the past year, Eden has been trying to deal with the suicide of her beloved baby brother. Because grief (and life) is boundless and boundary-less, Eden is raising awareness about suicide by running The First International Lip Synch Awards.
The Awards are Eden’s ode (one of many) to her brother. They are also an ode to all of us. To me, and you. Here’s to being 45 and sitting at your dining room table using your kid’s iPad to video yourself lip synching to Madonna, watching it back and cringing at your bizarre hand gestures and weird right eye twitches, and then publishing it on the Internet anyway. Here’s to living life in whatever way makes sense to you. Here’s to being stupid idiots and not caring.
May the breast man win.