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Twelve years ago

September 20, 2020

Twelve years ago I was living in London. However, at this particular point twelve years ago I was in Vancouver, visiting (for the second time that year) my former partner and still dear friend Mike, who’d been diagnosed with cancer at the beginning of 2008.

The first week I was in Vancouver, I went with Mike to his oncologist appointment. Since my visit in April, he’d had two rounds of chemotherapy, which hadn’t done the trick, and one round of radiation. The oncologist informed us that the radiation had also failed, that there was nothing else they could do, that Mike might have a year left, perhaps six months and should try to enjoy what time he had as much as he could.

I knew then that, if Mike only had six months left, he wouldn’t want to spend them in the semi-assisted living flat he’d moved into after leaving hospital. He’d want to spend them here, in our island home. I also knew that this was impractical on a number of fronts. He had majority mobility issues. (He’d had femur replacement surgery earlier in the year, after the femur was discovered to be riddled with cancer.) If he was to spend time here, work needed to be done on accessibility.

That day I sent an email to my boss in London to say that I would be extending my fortnight’s vacation by a week in order to get the ball rolling. There was another email I should have sent about my extended stay, but I didn’t.

Twelve years ago yesterday I was here on the island with my friend Catherine, sorting out things that needed to be done before I returned in November. (Yes, I had decided to come back for six months and bring Mike home.) It should have been the day I arrived back in London, but I had decided to stay on. So I wasn’t there to receive a phone call from a man I loved very much, but when I got back a week later, I did hear the message he left on my mobile.

Twelve years ago today he committed suicide.

I wouldn’t have been able to tell you that with such certainty if I hadn’t just received an email from him marking the anniversary. Yes, that guy. Back magically from the dead in March guy.

Fuck me. Twelve years ago.

From → Blog

One Comment
  1. krysross permalink

    This remains one of the most twisted stories of all time. We’ve all had a pretty weird 2020 but yours takes the prize.

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