He was just forty-four. He had cancer, an osteo-sarcoma in his left arm first and then the secondaries. It has been long and difficult journey for him and for his family. We are glad it is over for him and desperately concerned for his family, particularly his twin and his parents.
His father sounded quite calm last night but shock, disbelief and relief were all mixed together. I do not have children but I know for a certainty that you should not have to see one of your children die before you.
My father had been to see his godson the day before. He got greeted with a brief handraise and a faint smile. It was all that there was energy for. My father came home emotionally drained. Last night he spent several hours sitting in his favourite chair and staring into space. This is the son of his closest friends and he feels helpless.
There is his godson's twin too - an identical twin. The two boys shared the sort of closeness that only twins seem to share. As small boys they had their own private language and seemed to be able to read one another's thoughts. I minded them on a regular basis so that their father could go to university lectures and their mother could go to orchestra practice. I was always reminded not to let them sit at the plug end of the bathtub or the water would quickly disappear. They cuddled in, one on either side, as I read stories and made up stories about them. They would change their pyjama tops over in an effort to fool me - and forget to change the bottom as well.
Their older sister and brother would get demented over the way the twins would take their toys to play with and leave them lying around - with their siblings then taking the blame for untidiness.
Dad's godson leaves a partner but no child of his own. I do not know whether that makes it any better or any worse. My feeling is that it is both better and worse. His twin has children and that may help a little - but his twin feels just half there right now.
The last time I saw him Dad's godson knew, long before anything was actually said, that he was almost certainly looking at a very limited period of time. We were sitting together outside, slightly away from everyone else, and he said very quietly, "You know Cat, I do wonder what it is like down the plug hole."
Then he stood up and left me.