A Vigil

Someone who I hold very dear does not have much longer for this world.

It’s not uncommon to feel that the worst part of a break-up isn’t losing the other person (especially when time has provided a little perspective), it’s losing touch with their family. After the initial hurt of my last big break-up had mellowed, the thing that really stuck out was how much I was missing the rest of his family, who I had spent so much time with, adventures over to Devonport on the regular to see C and V and O.

My timing in going to Wellington didn’t help things. We were still in vague social media oriented contact, and before I left for Wellington (and after the break-up) we hung out – I talked with C and V about my plans in studying publishing, they talked about what was on the cards for them – I had some good cuddles with wee O, and we hovered as she stomped through the waves at Devonport Beach.

I only came back to Auckland twice while I was in Wellington, and they were both very brief visits. Weird work hours and very little holiday pay after a major Crohn’s issue last year meant that travel funds and timing were both less than flexible. I didn’t get a chance to catch up with the Devonport crowd. And I’m going to regret that for a long time.

Because I’m not going to see V again. He’s my ex’s brother-in-law, and one of my favourite people in the world.As a group we shared the same snarky brand of humour. I learned about writing, about gardens, about food from him. He had so many stories to share, and if you’ve read any of his writing but never met him, he’s just as delightful in person as on paper – more so, even. He told me to just pitch articles to places. To build up my writing. To follow that particular passion like he has. And I have. And I’ll be perpetually grateful to him for that.

He’s a wonderful father to his girls – O is magical, and I presume that Little V must be too, though I haven’t had a chance to meet her. That little house in Devonport is so full of love and warmth, and I can’t begin to imagine how the tone has changed. From what I have heard, he is still with them, but he is gravely ill.

I wanted to write to remember, and celebrate, and share something of someone who is a glorious human being.

And then, just in case you have anything that you can spare for a little family dealing with the hardest thing imaginable, there is a Give a Little page set up. Anything that you can contribute will help C and the girls deal with the costs to come.

I’ve had my first week at my new job, which has been great, but every evening I have come home and shut off. I know I’m lucky to be my age without having encountered much in the way of unexpected loss. But that knowledge doesn’t help right now. My heart aches for the family, for him, for everyone he has touched (and there are so many).


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Basically, I deal in words.

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