Before, I recall it was the only thing I felt could set me free from the inner scream that tore its way from the inside out, stomped on my ego, stole my joy, and neglected all hope I had that it could not be this way, that death do us part was not God's end to a deep, painstakingly long friendship. In my desperation, I began to write, a senseless place where tears flowed like constant waves, big waves, for a long time I'd been praying for waves, but all my life I never knew how to take them until suddenly my body recognised the ocean's desire for height and finally I found myself somewhere fearlessly high, going down the line, your name echoed in the background of my thoughts. Flying, I found freedom in surfing, and I cherish the memories we were able to share beside the sea, the part of me you helped shape, and the small piece you took to the grave before I could beat you there. My star-crossed lover, quietly, you were always one step ahead of everyone else, and so whilst some things are not meant to be shared, I am breaking this silence for the sake of others, knowing you'd never have allowed me to do this alive, but being too proud to let you have your way, not one last time, for "It is what it is."
You always enjoyed a low profile, constantly off the radar, in recent days, traveling Asia or America, Canada next. I couldn't keep up, couldn't surf, couldn't ride a unicycle, definitely couldn't climb, but we connected, and I could write, so there we had it, a common denominator for things challenging our purpose-driven self, our God-called beings, you, taking on the world with your extreme athleticism and, me, with my way of words, my way of living, all I endured and fulfilled over these past five years absent of you.
This was a time to become woman, to learn and grow, both inwardly and out, navigating a semi-broken vessel within the real world, and, in hindsight, failing to do so for the ease of child-like behaviour which has since taken me down some tough roads and much regretted detours. But, you, Conor, made the greatest decision to follow your dream through to the end, choosing to conquer simplicity in its finest form - nature's steepest slopes - climbing mountains and reaching untouched peaks, graciously leaving a powerful energy wherever you went, rising above the average state of mind and living. I know this was not an easy journey, and that the love you had for your family cried for attention, but was silenced by peace of mind, knowing that with every step, they carried some of the weight you held, with you, always. Only then, alongside countless hours of prayer and your own perseverance, were you able to go beyond the world we live in, to a place only the humble and hard-working could ever comprehend. At twenty-two years old, you exceeded expectations of accomplishment and age, and I know God numbered your days only so that you were able to leave a legacy for the weak and feeble; people who loved to talk, wasting the walk, instead, running blind by the disillusionment of success, poorly influenced by decisions of others, and misguided by a care for falsehood; admittedly, people like me.
During all of this, there have been times where I have heard your voice even when you've not been around, escaping to a safe place I've known we could meet. Surely, you spoke to us; it was personal, you said, I found you unexpectedly in dreams, I sought your presence in morning light, I touched the sky even when tumbling underwater without a sense of which way was up, and which way were down. I just held on.
But you told me, "Let it go."
And, for once, I listened.
There is no other way.
God chose you to be a blessing in disguise; never boastful, humble by nature; cooler than the Northern face, bright like the first star, attempting to hide behind black wayfarers; a presence that never demanded power but held strength in the respect that came with what you stood for, lived for, and breathed - everyday - harrowing your way to glory.
The world should know you died doing what you loved, and that if you had chosen to be anyone other than the person God had called you to be, life never would have come close to satisfying the passion and fire you had within your soul. I owe you a future full of living the lessons you taught me; starting with being true to yourself, never settling for anything less than the best, and never stopping until that's what you get.
Forever, my friend, one day you can have a whinge about kissing a writer,
But until then,