Sometimes it seems as if I’ve been missing her for such a long time. Time stretches out and I can’t remember what it was like to talk to her, or what we talked about, or even how she moved, where she was sitting. The last time I saw Tara seems so long ago. It seems so long ago that sometimes, I can’t really believe she existed.
Other times, I can’t really believe it’s been two years since she died. The shock of her absolute gone-ness just ups and smacks me in the face. Preposterous. Outrageous. No, surely not. Not Tara.
The last time I saw her it was very early Spring up in Norwich. I was recovering from a very nasty virus and was still feeling odd, sounding hoarse: our conversation swam in and out of the other conversations in the caff and I had trouble holding onto it. Rachel was there as well – my other sister-friend from Uni – and we ate veggie food and cackled at each other’s jokes and I whinged about feeling isolated and anxious and Rachel and Tara were kind and funny and supportive. My memories of that day are so bound up in how I felt, what a dick I was being, going on and on…. if I’d known how little time we three had left together, I might not have wasted it on all the self-flagellation.
But I have a strong image of saying goodbye to Rache on a street corner; grey pavement and iron-hard, East Anglian cold, busses, all of us hugging and wishing we had more time, promising to get together more often. And Tara joking, as she and I ducked back into a bar for a quick drink, that the staff would think she was speed-dating or something – she’d been in there with Rachel before our meal. She seemed happy: still in love, and with her daughter doing well, and working freelance so that she could scale the business up and down as needed. She was frustrated too: child-care is hard work and so is running a business, and so is juggling, and she had so much she wanted to do. But life seemed good.
Then it was time to leave, knocking back the last of the wine, swapping the bar’s wooden benches and fairy lights for the opaque sky, the raw air. More hugs. I bounced away, feeling a little more substantial, a bit more capable. She had that effect on me, Tara.
It’s a good memory to have. I miss her.
Tara Few, 22.03.68 – 11.08.13