Saying Goodbye at Millennium Bridge

 Anna, I didn’t know you well, so I hope you won’t mind that I stood at Millennium Bridge asking myself and you (if you could hear me too) many things. I wondered whether you’d ever been to London or if you hadn’t, if it was on your bucket list. 

Even though I had no answers to either of those questions, I hoped then and now that you are satisfied with this location. From what I remember of you, I think you’d have enjoyed the trek I took to get there. I had walked all over London that day—I could feel the rustling wind and harried conversations brushing past me. I also had lost myself in a wonderfully chaotic food market called Borough Market, which is a dream for any food loving Westridge girl. The whole day and the spirit of the city was spontaneous, magical, and electric. 

Prior to this trip, I’d been thinking a lot about you and where might be a good place to wish you well. I’d been stressed about settling on the perfect place that I left the decision to the last moment, effectively stressing me out even more. I like to think that maybe you heard those pleas and as I remember you being, were both a calming and guiding presence in helping me with this decision. The morning of, I woke up, firmly set on the Millennium Bridge. 

It’s difficult for me to precisely articulate the pull of this bridge. There are many options for bridges in London that seemed sensible too. Truthfully, I mostly thought it was beautiful, elegant, really and unpretentious. In a way, the bridge really reminded me of you, or rather, how I’ve always thought of you as. There were other details too: its reference in a Harry Potter movie (I think you were a fan?) and its location near the Globe, recalling both the numerous Shakespeare plays we’d read while at Westridge and also our finest dramatic work together, Traicón. The latter is probably most appropriately considered a comedy (despite our best efforts) and I still recall the fun we had making it with Gabby and Simona as well as enjoying its second life bringing joy to all our friends on Facebook. 

On a more serious note, I also liked the symbolism of the bridge. I’ve no way of knowing where you are now, but I pray that your transition was kind and painless since the opposite has been true for those that loved you most. I also wanted you to land in a place that was as full of life as your spirit. Rather than a stagnant location, releasing you into the Thames seemed fitting. I could imagine you even having another journey from where it was I left you. 

Finally, Anna, I want to thank you and your family for the privilege of getting to say goodbye so intimately. I wish, desperately, that I didn’t have to and that you could have been here and experienced this day for yourself. I hope I was able to honor your memory by living this day, in particular, with pura vida in laughs and a feeling of joyful peace. Most of all, I wish that you are content and finding pura vida wherever you may be. 

xo,

Kayoko

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