Monday, 18 July 2011

I've been waiting for you.

I haven't written on my blog for nearly a month and some of you are understandably wondering what's going on.  

Well, living at my mum's and being unemployed was always going to diminish blog content.  You knew that much.  

And then things got worse :(

In my desperation to find something amusing to publish on here, I wrote to a university friend; the coolest, funniest person I could think of to ask.  A few days later he sent me a link to the Youtube video below.  Before I could even open his email, he died.  

It's not an exaggeration to say that this has changed everything.

Once, the "rest of my life" had seemed like it would be a long time, stretching ahead with enough headroom for visas to be considered and comfortably approved; space for ranting on blogs and tweets; learning what the hell those things actually are; room for relationships to be challenged and rebuilt; for things to go wrong then come right; and for all of us to stumble and still reach our full potential.  There would be time to be apart from loved ones and chances to be reunited.  But nobody ever told me that it was possible to run out of time at the age of 34.  That just wasn't thinkable.

My friend was brilliant.  I mean UTTERLY genius, and he just died quietly in his sleep in his mid-thirties.  He slipped out of life the way he would have silently left a noisy party.  

At times I have surprised myself by being unable to mourn his loss.  I guess this is because he has not lost anything; he just ran out of time.  It's those left behind who have lost something we can never, ever replace.  It's self pity that motivates my grief - and I feel bad about that because a man like him had no time for wallowing.

My friend, if I ever make it to the place where you are, after what will seem like an eternity without you, I know you'll give me an awkward hug, smile your wry smile and say in your slightly northern accent: 

"Where have you been?  I've been waiting for you for so long."  

 It's a northern thing.


  1. Kosmo's Mum21 July 2011 at 15:30

    I was wondering when you would blog about this because I knew it would be reflective, heartwarming and sad at the same time... mission accomplished. I am crying... and I am sitting in a seminar room during a break. (That part is just embarrassing.)

  2. Dear Kosmo's mom. Thank you. It sure would've been good to have my DC friends in London at that time. I missed Hank so much and it was quite isolating being here in London. Every time I feel able to move on, someone posts something on Facebook or sends a new email to the inbox I set up for tributes and it all comes back again. At least I can spare my late friend's family the constant interruption of grief as yet more people learn the terrible news and get in touch; for the family it would be a constant worrying of nearly-healed wounds... I hope this will get easier for all of us with time. Now, no crying in seminars, nice lady, ok? x


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