I have never experienced someone close to me passing away. Of course, I have had elderly relatives pass on, but it was after a long drawn out period of suffering, the kind that when they are taking their final breaths, one almost is thankful that they will finally rest.

My cousin Philip passed suddenly. And it is devastating because he wasn’t just a cousin, but a true friend. As I am getting older I am realising that the list of people to trust is getting shorter and shorter but one person who has always been on that list was Philip. You could talk to him about anything and he wouldn’t judge, even if he didn’t agree, which is a very rare quality in people.

Philip was smart. Smart is an understatement. His intellect and way of reasoning was unlike of anyone I have ever known. When he knew he was on to something he would get this look in eyes and his voice would get clearer and he would leave a pause between ideas to let the previous idea sink in, or else for dramatic effect, I don’t know. And the conclusion would be something that sounds simple but would be brilliant and would make you think ‘why didn’t I think of that?’

He was also very honest and sincere. He never pretended to be someone he was not. His stance was always ‘I am Philip, this is me, if you do not like it go to hell.’ But the thing is, many did like it and he was always surrounded by friends and he was really quite popular. Philip was fun to be around and he had such a sense of humour. Whenever we would meet I would be looking forward to it for ages, because it would always be like we had seen each other last yesterday when it would actually be yesteryear. To me, that is the mark of true friendship- never scarred by time or distance.

However, what struck me most about him was his ability to love. I remember at his wedding he said that his wife IS love itself. It stuck with me. They embodied love as a couple. He loved his wife so much, it was so obvious and wonderful. Just being around them made me aspire to being more dedicated in my own relationship.

Philip had a big heart, metaphorically and unfortunately literally and hence why he is no longer with us.
That heart.
That heart we will all miss so terribly.

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(Philip had stolen my hat at a wedding to make his niece and nephew laugh. It was very effective!)

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