Hey friend. There isn’t much to say I guess. I guess everything was already said between us. Everything we possibly could have had we did have. It was perfect. Every laugh and moment of joy, every experience and adventure we lived through together, every long afternoon over the years spent just talking and cooking and singing and teasing and being stupid. So much fun and freeness and recklessness; behaving like kids and being stupid. Also the moments when we weren’t stupid, where we were honest and intimate and serious. Where we worried about each other. All the evenings sat in twilight by the water with a barbecue or takeaway or beer amongst friends. The past is in stone and I don’t believe we could have or would have wanted to change anything. So we had everything. It wasn’t the biggest, or the closest, or the longest, but it was as much as we could have possibly had, so it was the most and it was flawless. And I think you already know, but I’m so grateful to you. For your disarmingly boundless love and warmth, for your stunning optimism and good nature, for shaping the way I grew up, for supporting and encouraging me to pursue my dream which became my reality which became my whole life, for your big beautiful grin and the laughs we never stopped having until we stopped.
I’m grateful for your life, that you existed to brighten the day of every person you encountered ever since I knew you. And that’s not an exaggeration or one of those whimsical compliments that people like to give in hindsight – this is fact, this is something every person who knew you agreed went without saying. This is why everybody loved you – how you spread happiness like pollen blooms in the wind. How you spread laughter and joy with all your crap jokes and that big grin – your unbridled affection and affability, making smiles everywhere like wind makes waves… Why there were hundreds of people of all kinds and ages and backgrounds at your funeral. Why I am unable to think of one negative memory we have – a bad exchange, an awkwardness, a moment of irritability or intolerance, a disagreement, an accidental insult, a moody impatience. Nothing. That isn’t normal. You weren’t normal. Not that ‘normal’ means anything… but from the only perspective I can give being my own, normal in my life wasn’t a solid idea, but it was definitely far from everything you were. Definitely I never met somebody with so much goodness and warmth and love, not even close. Never have I known a person like you (including the ones I love the most) that I could rely on so surely to make me feel nothing but safety and happiness in every scenario. Consistently. I am sure I am privileged beyond my own understanding to have known you, and been close to you. Your stupid antics, your life full of fun and adventure and boats and dogs and motorbikes and water and good food and most of all, friends, will remain a precious relic to everyone who was touched by it.
Sure no one knows what happens after life – through all the ideas and theories and the big thrilling or terrifying or ambivalent chasm of unknown waiting for us – I don’t believe it’s anything we can imagine. Neither of us knew what we thought about it that’s for sure. I think that’s the best thing to think – to accept an inevitable ignorance when it comes to something so big and beyond comprehension. We don’t understand much about our existence, about what consciousness or life or matter or an individual actually is. About the universe and energies (dark (unexplained) energy & matter making up 70% of matter & energy), about reality which is only a concept presented to us by our senses, one which doesn’t really exist, not to us at least… The purpose and functioning of things are so far outside of our ability to begin to comprehend them I think it’s better to surrender in awe to just not knowing. I don’t care that I don’t know, and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t either. But I care that I do know that I knew you. That we had many years being in each others’ lives. That I have countless memories and experiences. And it doesn’t feel real that you’re gone (whatever ‘real’ means). Your place in my heart and mind is just as strong, and you’re just as often in my thoughts as before. When I visit, I keep expecting to see you appear around the corner, or emerge from the kitchen. I almost think it wouldn’t surprise me. We’d hug and I’d ask ‘where have you been?’. We’d all feel weak with relief and we’d finally stop missing you. But it’s ok. I don’t like to feel too much sadness or any regret. Death is so natural and normal, it feels sad to us still around, but it’s a part of life and everything that happens is more or less inevitable. Thinking about how if your life had been different this may not have happened is just futile, because if your life had been different you would not have been you. We wouldn’t have been us. Everything happened just right, and I feel I have been blessed to have been a part of it.
I’m never going to stop thinking of you, holding you in my heart. Feeling like your big ginger grin is passing comment on everything. But I know that’s just me. You’re out of our lives. We were all the most fortunate of people, and we hold your memory within as a brilliant iridescent warmth filling us with sadness and joy. We’ll follow you one day.