Dear Nige, today is your 44th Birthday, a day you didn’t reach on this planet. In 2 days it will also be 3 months since you passed away bravely and found relief from the cancer consuming you.
So many of your friends and family still can’t quite believe you are gone. You made quite an impression babe, far deeper and stronger than you knew when you were alive. I hope you see it now and smile with pride at the good you did and the people whose lives you enriched while on this earth. Also the legacy you left behind, as others try to encapsulate in their own lives, the way you lived yours.
Our friends and I had a catch up for brunch the other day. A group of people who loved you dearly. You’ll be happy to know they have been there for me as I have journeyed through my grief, looking after me while carrying their own burdens. They are far more than friends babe, they are family. While there I was talking to someone about how sick you were near the end, and how although you were shouting silently for us to notice, none of us could quite accept how ill you were, how close to the end. We all desperately wanted to stay positive and full of hope, and I know you also strived to be like this, and hang on far longer and with way more independence than many others would have in your condition. You were an incredibly strong man during this time, and I will never forget your grace and courage in the face of death.
This morning I decided to look through the photo books you made this year. These were your project and you worked hard to get them finished and get them right. A collage of the all the amazing wonderful things we packed into our lives during the last 2 years. My job now is to create more photo books to span the whole 16 years we were together, a gift for the kids, a reminder of your love for them and the family unit we were for a precious stretch in time. I lost my mum at 16, and you after almost 16 years. A cruel reminder we can never take for granted that which is in our lives. But I feel privileged to know this secret, so that I can grasp what is left of my life with both hands and truly live it. It is my promise to you that I will pass on to the kids all I know to help them in their journey through life, and this includes all the things I learnt from you babe. We may not have had an easy ride but boy did we learn and grow and experience things during our time together. You were a good man to the core and I always felt that shine through.
I love this quote, and I have just realised it describes how you were quite nicely. You taught us all how to live large and without fear, making our own happiness while spreading joy to others. No matter who you were with, you were always unashamedly you. And why not, you were pretty spectacular :). Our kids noticed all this. After you died their counsellor asked them what you used to bring to the family, and they were both quick to say “Joy”. You brightened up their days. It won’t be easy but it is my mission to make sure they keep experiencing this joy throughout their lives. You’re a hard act to follow but I’ll do my best babe.
Nige, your life here on earth might be over but you have left a lasting impression on all those who met you, so thank you for gifting us all, simply with your presence, during your time here. You have left behind two amazing, beautiful children who I know will do you proud in the years to come, and you will live on through them. I’ll make sure of it. My gift to you this day.
Happy Birthday babe xoxo