A few months ago I mentioned a lovely man called Hywel Jones on my blog. He was someone I recommended you all followed on Twitter, for his honest and inspiring insights into what life is like, living with terminal cancer. His blog, Terminal Times, captures the good days and the bad, and the days that were just days. Just one more day fighting.
Yesterday, Hywel’s fight came to an end. I logged on to Twitter this morning – the same place where I had followed Hywel’s ups and downs, and sent him messages of encouragement when it was clear today was one of the bad days – to see a message from Tenovus that said Hywel passed away last night.
Hywel was an amazing man. I am so, so sad that he couldn’t get better.
I first encountered Hywel when I was an intern at Tenovus this time last year. He was an ambassador – the ambassador for the charity, and I was writing a press release on how he had won one of their inaugural Volunteer Awards.
Tonight is the 2012 Volunteer Awards, and Tenovus have dedicated the evening to him. Last year he was there.
I feel like I should write a big soaring post about how fleeting life is, and how we need to make the most of those we love, and treasure them, because we don’t know how long we’re going to get with them. And all of that is true. But right now, you know what I’m really thinking? It’s not fair. It is not fair. Shitty things happen to gorgeous people, people the world is lucky to have, and people the world is all the poorer for losing when they’re gone. Hywel did so much, loved so much, kept on going even when times did become terminal for him. Just a couple of months ago Tenovus released as a fundraiser a single he had secretly had recorded, a love song for his wife Cathy called Always Its You. I could say how guilty I feel that I didn’t buy it. I could say how guilty I feel that, even when I realised I hadn’t heard from him for a while, I didn’t message him. Being in your thoughts isn’t always enough. What’s the point of me feeling guilty? Guilt is a self-focussed emotion. This isn’t about me.
I’ll be back in a few days with that big, heartfelt, life-is-short post. But tonight I just want to be sad. For Hywel.