I have put off writing this post since we found out about your death two weeks ago. I really do not know how to put all I want to say into words. How do you say goodbye when a life was cut short far too soon? I just do not know how.
On Monday you made your final journey and we all came together to say our farewells. It still does not make sense to me that we will never see you again. But you managed to do one thing – bring us all together for the first time in many years.
And there enters another thought. Years. How had it been two years since I last saw you? It makes me feel so sad that we should have seen you only a few weeks ago but plans got changed and we missed our chance. I am so sorry for that.
All I can do now is look back on the times we had together – particularly those three years at university. I was only saying to people on Monday that I don’t actually remember our first meeting. But I remember so much after that – the terrible trailer we made for Labyrinth in first year, my first and last ever viewing of that film!
Many a night in The Venue and the bar at University, listening to the same three songs you would put on the jukebox every night – I have to say I’ve been waking up singing ‘We Built This City’ for the past two weeks!
When our housemate and I would go wondering off, disappearing for an hour at a time, but always returning to you.
Your car that you named Kylie, and we decided that her and my car should be a couple – how young and silly we were!
Your ridiculously outrageous shirts that I was never quite sure how you got away with, but nobody questioned them, they were just you.
Introducing me to Family Guy and us sat in your room watching the first series.
When we went to the pet shop and I left with a hamster, much to your amusement.
Playing drinking Monopoly which I think consisted of a shot every roll of the dice!
Your exasperation at my music taste, or rather lack of it in your opinion!
The many times you offered a shoulder for me to cry on when whichever silly boy had broken my heart.
Your enormous bear hugs, there were none quite like them.
I know we didn’t see each other a whole lot and we didn’t even talk that often, but that never made a difference when I saw you, the years melted away. I always looked forward to seeing you, knowing it still be just as comfortable as it always was, knowing there would be laughter. You held a special place a my heart and always will. The world is an emptier place without you in it.
I hope wherever you are you are proud of the legacy you have left behind and the people you touched on your unjustly short life. We will never forget you, Neil.