Tuesday, 20 January 2009


When I took this photo at sunset a week or two ago, I knew I'd want to write about it at some point, because I thought it was vivid and worth showing.

There was no way of knowing then that the first time I'd think to post it would be the day we lost a friend. I can't say how but it seems fitting. Putting into words why just seems unnecessary.


Today a little after 2pm, Sean received a phone call from the sister of his friend of many years to say that Mick had died. Two weeks ago, we visited him and I gave him some socks. Probably he never wore them but that was never the point.

After four years of illness, with medical trials, suffering and uncertainty, it all came to an end. We've watched him fight. We've seen him want to give up. Four years is a long time to fight.

On Sunday, we drove to Sydney for the day at the urging of his sister who said he had gone into palliative care and was rapidly losing the battle. An afternoon in his room, with his family at his side, watching him suffer and wishing for it to end was an afternoon we'll always remember.

He and Sean watched the cricket - with Sean telling him what was going on when Mick was too weak to watch. I talked with his mother and sister - both knitters - as i worked on a cotton handtowel to keep my hands busy.

I know you all don't know Mick but that's ok. I want to write because we are sitting around not sure what to do and feeling things we can't really say. I am cooking for us because it seems right. When Mick was our neighbour for five or so years, I cooked for him a lot. He brought beer and I served up plate after plate of food.

He never said much. Mick was a man of few words, except for when he spoke at length, both affectionately and hilariously at our wedding and declared in front of all our friends and family that he loved Sean and was happy for him. We listened to this man, who never said a lot, say more in that speech than anyone knew was possible. Moments like that are worth everything.

Mick was a fan of my knitting. He wore one of my earliest beanies, made before I even knew how to knit in the round. He admired my crocheted hats, the ones I used to make before i was a knitter and a few times put in requests for hats for family members. That's why I had to make his socks. I couldn't let him go without something for his feet.

Wherever he is now, I hope he is ok. No more pain for him, but he's leaving behind a man who has been his friend for many years and who is going to be lost without him.