it’s been another of those weeks where your absence suddenly becomes intolerable again. Well, perhaps “intolerable” is an overstatement; now it’s more like an unpleasant itch that you want to scratch but can’t reach. But a couple of times in the last few days I’ve come across pictures of you looking so alive – laughing, smiling and enjoying yourself – that the primitive part of my brain once again insists that you can’t be dead.
Look, there you are, in the photo: young and vibrant and busy – so much done and so much still to do. How can you possibly not be here anymore? That’s just insane.
Thinking of you being gone forever, it takes a conscious effort to get over the sense of unreality. But then thinking that phrase, you’re gone forever; we’ll never speak again – it requires another effort of will just to take it in.
I watched Mark Lawson in Conversation with Mark Gatiss on TV a couple of weeks ago (that’s Mark Gatiss from The League of Gentlemen – a lovely, smart, funny man). He talked movingly about losing both his mother and his sister. In particular, he compared losing a relative or close friend to becoming a member of a terrible secret club, saying how the worst thing is that everyone eventually becomes a member.
I sat there watching, smiling, enjoying his conversation; but I was on the verge of tears as he related his own experiences. Because he was right. Until, god forbid, it happens to someone you love, the secret club is closed to you. And this is one secret club no one wants to join.
Missing you still,
Your big brother, Stu