Clearing away a life

Following Martin's death on November 24, 2001, his ex-partner and father came to the house yesterday, respectively to talk, and sort out his belongings. Stella and her friend, Lynn arrived at about 11am, and we sat and drank coffee and talked about him for some hours. Stella is so sweet and lovely, and devasted by his suicide. It was of great benefit to both of us to share our feelings about him. He was a private person, and gave the appearance of being an insensitive and overbearing, but in reality, was both caring and generous. There was much drinking of tea, and some tears were shed.

Bob, his father, arrived at about 3pm with his wife, Terry. They'd come primarily to sort out his things, but of course, they needed to talk about him too. As the house filled with smoke and used teacups and coffee mugs, we worked our way through the boxes of papers and computer bits, and Bob took some things away with him. He was tired, not just with the emotional burden he carried, but a long journey from Surrey to Nottingham, made worse by an accident on the M25 London Orbital Motorway.

Martin was physically so much like his father, and each time Bob spoke, it jarred me momentarily, and they sound so alike. It helped though - I no longer expect to hear his car pull up, and his coming in, in his own, inimitable fashion.

Dale came round at some point mid-evening, and the family were all gone for about 8.30, at which point, Dale thought it a good idea to drink to his memory at his local, the Red Lion in Basford. We got there to hear the sound of live music, specifically, one 'Saltfish John', known to us from Monday nights at the Golden Fleece. We went in, bought a drink, raised our glasses to his memory, and shed not a few tears between us.

Martin never noded, but he used to read a lot, and he helped me enormously. He proof-read many of my writeups and contributed ideas. He shared his time with me most generously, and I will always remember him fondly as the "Big Fat Welsh Bastard". He was a father of three, a son to Bob, lover of Stella, a friend to Dale, and was a colleague and housemate to me. For all these, and his workmates, I say "/me misses gbear".

The preliminary inquest found that death was caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. The undertakers have removed him to Cardiff, in readiness for the funeral next Friday afternoon.