I have waited a while to write this post. I would say the reason is that I wanted the dust to settle, but if I’m honest I just wanted to be drinking when I wrote it. Call it Dutch courage if you like. I’m going to just pop a little trigger warning here for death of a loved one before I go on.

I’ve thought endlessly about you since you left us two weeks ago.

I have experienced loss before. I don’t think you can be nearing forty and not experienced it. I’ve watched people leave this world or about to leave it. As devastating as these losses were, the one thing I could always rely on were the words ‘They had a good innings’ (for none British people this is a cricket reference to mean a batsman was around for a while)

So what do you do when the ‘Batsman’ hasn’t had a good innings? What words do you use to sooth your soul when that batsman has an early bath?

You were only a couple of years older than I.

I know you suffered in your waking years, I know it was hard to get out of bed, I know you were living with the worse kind of devil, the one that lives within yourself. You were tired and wanted to rest and I understand bab.

I understand in the way that many cannot. I too have that devil inside of me. I carry him wherever I go, night and day, an endless stream of bile spewing from his grotesque lips. I know how hard it is to make him quiet, and how easy it is to believe him.

I know you loved with everything you had, how you would help anyone who needed you, without question. I know you spent so much of your life bringing people together; spreading that infectious joy that permeated through your very pores. How even though that devil continued to bend your ear, how hard it was to sleep, how hard it was to show up, you ALWAYS did.

I could say that if only you knew how much we loved you, you would never have left us. But that would be wrong. There was never anyone who could say anything to stop you from going to sleep, because you just knew this was your time. The one thing in your mind that you could control over everything else.

I will never be angry with you, I will never blame you for anything that has transpired, and anyone that does, doesn’t deserve the love you so freely gave. You finally silenced him and for that I can’t help but be glad.

My final thoughts on this – apart from wishing I’d brought tissues to the pub – is this. Some people are in your life for less time than you would like; they hit life like a hurricane, where everything they do is memorable. He was the epitome of ‘Here for a good time, not a long time’ And he will live on forever in those memories.

He was the best of us all, with a soul as beautiful as they come.

I love you Neil. Always.


One thought on “Grief

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