Too long has passed, too many years are gone
Since someone who was loved has gone to lie,
No more to walk and laugh beneath the sky;
To never more set eyes upon the dawn.
The stardust called you back to it too soon
Beyond our temporary state of life;
You left behind so many filled with strife –
So many hearts beneath the sun and moon.
Too soon, too soon you left and went your way,
With many words unspoken ever more,
This broken heart with tears began to pour;
Too soon, too soon we met that fateful day.
Today my broken heart is company –
So many days have passed to now from then;
And though we are to never meet again
I know from pain and anguish you are free.
— Scott Thornby, 2015.06.10
Will you carry the words of Love with you?
Will you ride the great white bird into Heaven?
And though you want to last forever you know you never will
You know you never will
And the goodbye makes the journey harder still…
– Cat Stevens, Oh Very Young, 1974
It’s harder to write words of remembrance for a cat than it is for a person.
It has nothing to do with the volume of feeling. It has to do with the unspoken bond that humans have with companion animals. If you’re not a person with an affinity for pets you won’t understand how the death of an animal can break someone. It’s heart-wrenching on a level that’s difficult to express and it’s a trial to attempt to find the words to do such a companion justice. Continue reading
Colin John Thornby
When my brother got sick and started very seriously contemplating the end of his life he started considering options for burial and memorials. At the time we, his family, didn’t know about it but he was talking to a good friend of his – Jane – about the matter. She suggested he write out what he wanted for the memorial himself.
To fully appreciate what happened next you need to understand what kind of a man my brother was in one very important respect: he was used to running things. He was a natural leader and very accustomed to being in charge. Writing out lesson plans for his classes (and his partner’s), sermons for his fellow Christians, advice for the people he gave spiritual guidance for – and that’s only in his later life. Since we were kids he was the one standing up and speaking, making sure everyone was on time, working out who was to bring what and when they had to do their thing (depending on the situation).
Colin agreed that writing his own memorial would be a good idea and so he did.
My oldest brother, Colin John Thornby, has joined those who came before. He died peacefully in the Royal Melbourne Hospital on the 1st of July, 2013, at 6:43pm after a long and hard struggle against a chest infection following a bone marrow transplant. His lungs gave out and he passed away after the medical staff determined that there was nothing more they could do for him.
It’s difficult to find words worthy of him to put down on digital page. Finding words isn’t difficult in general but most of them are trite, obscene or both. But to put down how much my brother meant to me and how much he will be missed, by myself and others… As someone who uses language not only as a tool of communication (as we all do) but a medium of creative expression I find that there are times when words simply… aren’t enough. They don’t do the job. Continue reading