Yesterday, I got a phone call from the sister of a friend. She needed to talk to me. Straight away I thought something had happened to my friend JL, but no it wasn't that. JL's partner had just died - in his sleep - no warning - no previous illness - not even especially old. Well a couple of years older than me, which does put us all very close to the death zone...
Then I spoke to JL. She was hysterical with shock and grief.
The world is going to be a strange and frightening place for her without him. He was such a lovely guy. I was talking to him on the phone only a couple of weeks ago, and the four of us were planning to meet up for lunch at a pub next Spring/Summer - depending on the state of play with my knew knees. we were going to find a nice place halfway between our two homes on the South Coast.
Its very hard to take in and understand.
Though IF I have to go, I would like to go like that, peacefully in my sleep. And I am glad for Dave that it was so peaceful. The next time he opens his eyes, the earth will be more lovely than he could have imagined.
But such a terrible terrible shock for JL, the family, his children, his grandchildren. We can't even go to the funeral service, as I can't travel at the moment, not much beyond the bounds of home anyway.
We will try to keep in as close touch as we can, obviously. I have just finished a letter I promised her, putting down my memories of Dave. I first met him, many years ago, in Dhahran. I had gone round one evening to visit JL, in her little single-girl house, and outside was this good-looking Brit guy sorting out her front garden for her. He said she didn't even know he was there yet, he had just come round to tackle the garden for her. I thought: What a nice, thoughtful guy. And so he proved to be.
Her life is going to be sadly changed without him.
Our storm came and went, leaving some fatalities in its wake, and some damage. No trees down here though, and the winds not as strong as some forecasts suggested. I was awake, listening to it howl round the flats, but it wouldn't have woken me up. I was awake because of arthritis pain, in my back, shoulder, neck, knees (old and new), you name it...
As I said above, our sell-by dates are looming.