[Written on 16.7.15]
Two years ago today we buried LB. On a baking hot July day.
He went from being a funny and beyond loved dude to an anonymous inmate in an ATU in the blink of an eye really. Pretty much stripped of his family, everything he understood and recognised, and then his life.
12 days after being found ‘unconscious’ in the bath in the ‘specialist unit’ (that had been taken over by Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust some months earlier), he was buried in a Routemaster bus coffin in a woodland grave. Aged 18 and a half.
I find it hard to think back to that time. Those spaces. The 12 days… The 107 days before. The two years since. Spaces of indescribable pain and horror.
I still remember LB though. Outside of all the shite. I realised this yesterday when I imagined him on holiday with us. I could still see him, hear him and feel his presence strongly. His (constant) commentary, facial expressions, enjoyment, participation and humour. I could see him, sitting cross-legged on the beach, sifting sand through one hand, eyes half closed, basking in the sun like a contented cat.
I wondered about this. On a windswept beach in Tenerife. One of my (many) fears was that I’d forget. That he’d lose shape, substance, being in time. His brutal and unexpected death would obliterate him. But it hasn’t.