Goodbye Sam
2010-04-06 | 8:41 p.m.

A lot has been happening over the past week or so, which has included my buying some pot pourri (not for a dare or anything) and receiving exactly 0 Easter eggs (though I did get an Easter tenner and bar of Dairy Milk from my mum). I think this balances out though seeing how weeks and even months prior to Easter I was devouring them by the dozen, nearly. Ridiculously cheap offers in supermarkets would tempt the obesity within and I spent many a happy moment devouring oval-shaped, smooth, sugary goodness.

My Easter was packed with activity, which included being back in Stevenage and managing to see all my immediate family, Tori, my two friends I'm going to Barcelona with and having a seven-hour Rock Band marathon...SO BLOODY ADDICTIVE. I decided, despite having a singing ability capable of causing more pain than poking a porcupine tendril (or whatever the hell they are) into your ear, my favourite role in the 'band' was microphone. I sang Don't Stop Believing followed swiftly by Cool For Cats. Where I go there's no musical snobbery.

I came back to London on Sunday to go with Jenn to a barbecue and then to Infernos. We moved to North London so we'd be 'closer to everything' and what do we do? Go to a club that's a mere two miles from our old house and very far from where we live now. Consequently, because we're such responsible adults, Jenn ended up going back with a boy to his parents' Wimbledon mansion whilst I chose to go back with an entire household of boys to somewhere in Clapham North. Bloody hell. Waking up and thinking you're cosy in your own bed then realising NO, NO YOU ARE NOT is just not as fun as the previous night's antics. Nor is travelling home doing the walk of shame with only the saviour of a chocolate milkshake to stop you puking up on the Tube. Going to try very hard not to do that again.

Sam's funeral was on Thursday and I was going to write about it very shortly afterwards but then just didn't. It was, in a word, heavy. It was so, so sad and there were a lot of tears, but there were lighter moments too. I drove to the place of the service feeling sick to my stomach, which wasn't helped when I arrived and didn't recognise a soul (there were at least a hundred people, if not more). Thankfully I saw a couple of boys from my class, greeted them and then went inside and was hit by a massive tidal wave of emotion when I saw several of my old friends and classmates - people I'd spent every day with for five years, most of whom I'd been very close to, but then not seen properly in ten years.

I promptly burst into tears, causing them all to follow suit. There was a lot of hugging and I will never forget Kevin looking at me and, almost with desperation in his voice, simply saying, 'We shouldn't be here...'

After more tears I told them shortly before of my fears of arriving and not recognising anyone to the point I thought I'd 'turned up at the wrong one' and Kate - one of my old best friends - just said, 'Oh Sarah, you haven't changed!' And I suppose in a lot of ways I haven't, and neither have they.

The service was the hardest part, with Sam in a coffin in front of us, my mind cruelly wondering what she looked like inside, and her family clearly devastated throughout the whole thing. After that we travelled in convoy in our cars to the cemetery and once she was in her final resting place in the ground there seemed to be a huge feeling of relief, especially when I witnessed a man clasping Sam's dad by the shoulders, saying 'That's it, it's done now.'

Then the wake, which resulted in me now being friends again with Emma, a girl who was also one of my best friends at school but whom I'd hated for the past ten years as she was really horrible to me in year 11. She did actually say, 'I'm so sorry I was such a bitch to you at school,' and that was good enough for me. Grudges aren't worth bothering with, especially since she reminded me of funny memories, like being at a sleepover with another of our friends who'd made a giant jelly rabbit, which fell over on its plate causing irreparable jelly-rabbit damage as she brought it out.

Sam, Kate, Emma, Kevin, Paul, Nicole...all classmates who were a huge reason why for the most part I loved school SO MUCH. I remember being in year 8 (age 12/13 for you non-UKers) and actually feeling sad at the prospect at having to go home at the end of each school day! Ridiculous, but they were an amusing lot and talking to them on Thursday made me realise I'd completely forgotten how great they were and the individual warmth of their characters which was still very much part of them.

Like I said, it wasn't all sadness. At the wake I was introducing Emma to Sam's grandad, whose name I did not know, so I ended up saying, 'This is, erm, Grandad,' which luckily they found amusing. I was also told later (and which no one had realised) that the recording of bagpipe music we had at the start of the service should really have been a *real life* bagpipist, only his bloody bagpipes had burst, of all things to happen. Sam would genuinely have found that hilarious.

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