Couldn't think of an apt title to convey how I feel. It's been a very strange week and my thoughts keep returning to 2 people who are no longer with us. Both were taken before their time and both deaths have launched me into the throes of introspection, a mixture of sadness, loss and such affection.
I found out on Tuesday that my old boss had been killed over the weekend. He was out in Norwich, saw a gang of youths pick on a young couple and went over to intervene. The gang turned on him and basically kicked his head in. His injuries were so severe he had to be taken to a specialist hospital in Cambridge where he later died leaving behind a devoted wife and 2 daughters aged 7 and 4. I saw the headlines, clicked on the story and was shocked to see his photograph. Frank was a Brixton boy made good who did a Law degree and worked his way up the ranks forging a glittering career in the city. He was extremely well-respected amongst his peers and a charismatic leader who inspired loyalty amongst his staff. We were willing to work our socks off for him because we knew at the end of the day that he would always stand behind us and support us if needed. He gave me a 10 grand payrise after my first 6 months in recognition of my hard work, he could be intimidating and brusque at times but at the end of the day, he was always fair. I'm somehow not surprised by his actions that night, he could persuade the most pig-headed city traders to see sense and he must have thought he could use his powers of reasoning to defuse the situation. And he had a a great sense of humor too - when yours truly here got far too blottoed at a team dinner (in her 3rd week of joining the firm) and called both her bosses 'losers', Frank took it in his stride and laughed it off the next day. At the time though, I was completely mortified and thought I'd be given my marching papers pretty pronto for showing an MD such blatant disrespect. I've been trying to process it all and it's just horrifying that someone who was trying to do the decent thing and protect some strangers could meet with such an undeserved end.
Which brings me onto Tash - on Wednesday, in lieu of our usual Wednesday night knitting we all went over to Helen's to take care of Tash's stash. We managed to rehouse most of it but surveying her yarn collection and choices made me feel closer and yet so separated from her at the same time. Tash, you've left such a huge gaping hole in our hearts that all the yarn in Christendom could not fill.
At university, one of my favourite classes was one called 'Women & Poetry'. I had to write a paper on the thematic treatment of death and one of the poems I chose to analyse was this one by Christina Rossetti - I like to think it's some kind of message from the other side.
Remember me when I am gone away,
Gone far away into the silent land;
When you can no more hold me by the hand,
Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
Remember me when no more day by day
You tell me of our future that you planned:
Only remember me; you understand
It will be late to counsel then or pray.
Yet if you should forget me for a while
And afterwards remember, do not grieve:
For if the darkness and corruption leave
A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
Better by far you should forget and smile
Than that you should remember and be sad.