I’ve just heard that somebody whose company I valued greatly has died, and I am sad. We had exchanged emails only a couple of weeks ago, and had tentative plans to meet in January. And now we won’t.
We have known each other for about 25 years, only meeting about twice a year, and more recently, less than that. And there was rarely contact in between. But when we met, there was theology and personality-typing conversation, there was a sharing of wisdom and much, much laughter. He tried to teach me to drink real ale (without success) and encouraged me to build dolls houses, from his experience of model railways.
He was, in his words, Tigger to my Piglet, and I valued his company on long walk beside the canal. He sang beautifully, and taught me to listen to madrigals, and to light altar candles without setting fire to my hair. I introduced him to St John of the Cross.
We knew each other through some tough times for each of us personally; the context in which we met allowed space and trust to share deep stuff, and I knew when work was hard for him, and he knew when the world was dark for me. And we held that for each other. I am grateful for his life, and that we shared a little bit of it together. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
The world is a little emptier today, and I am sad.