Friday, 23 January 2009
My friend is dead. I shall never see him more.
One of my dearest friends is dead. He died following surgery for a blocked intestine. His wife M had let us know that he was ill and in hospital, and that he would probably have surgery. I talked to M last night. We did not talk long, as she was waiting to hear from the hospital. Evidently they rang shortly afterwards, and said things were not good and she should return to the hospital. So she and their son returned and were there throughout the night. He died this morning and M rang me a couple of hours later. When she rang to say she had very bad news, for an instant I expected her to say that his cancer had returned, but instead she told me of his death - it seems from organ failure because of the blockage.
I wrote about the last time I saw him, for his 70th birthday, which was a wonderfully happy occasion, with two other close friends and their daughter and her family. We had such a good time, and I took some good photos of him. M and J said they never took good photos, and indeed, although they were a fine looking couple, it was difficult to take good photos of them.
They had a tremendously happy marriage, and had good friends everywhere. They were both lawyers, with an amazing knowledge and love of music, art, and literature. Their tastes were truly catholic. We have been very close friends for 40 years, and they gave me immense comfort and support when I most needed it. We had shared griefs - they too had lost twin boys. M and I worked together for some years, and through that many other friendships came about.
I can't begin to describe how much I loved them and how greatly I will mourn J. This death, following so closely upon Viv's death, is devastating. Nor can I fully describe the blessings of their friendships, how they gathered people around them, and how interesting and fascinating it was to share conversations with them. Words are failing me. He had a naughty and infectious laugh, a bountiful fount of knowledge of music and a superb ear. He could remember anything he ever heard, and any performance. He loved children and doted on babies - besotted was how he described it. He was such a good and true man. Let me ever, ever weep.