Typing with a heavy heart today, after receiving some bad news yesterday.
I have often written on here that I have so far been unaware of any personal connection to the pandemic, and didn’t know of anyone who had contracted the virus.
Now that has changed.
One of my dearest and oldest friends is dying from complications of Covid-19. A man I have known and loved for 51 years, through the thick and thin of our lives. He was the best man at my first wedding, and I did the same at his. He had underlying health conditions, having endured Osteomyelitis in his youth, then going through dialysis and kidney transplant in middle age. I had got used to him being ill, and often marvelled at how he managed to pull through at times of medical crisis.
Then along came the Coronavirus.
He has declined to be sedated and connected to a ventilator, choosing pain-killing drugs and being conscious to the end. He is not going to see his yet-unborn grandchild, and is likely to be denied the chance of a last visit from anyone dear to him too. To keep them safe.
No doubt he will be added to the tragic numbers of people in this country officially lost to the virus. But this is the real impact of knowing someone who is on that list. The heartbreak, the flooding back of memories, concern for his pregnant daughter, and knowing how his loss will affect not only his immediate family, but our wider circle of friends too.
I will walk Ollie today, thinking about my friend. Then I will sit in a chair in the garden this evening, still thinking about him.
And he knows he will never be forgotten, and will always be loved.