My old man passed away when I was 10 and I always thought I dealt with it well. Some years later, when I started going in the local pub, some of the regulars would tell me they’d known my dad and talk about him. It made me feel warm and closer to him.
I joined Twitter, 5 years back, when it felt smaller, less cynical and more clubby. I chose a Charles Bukowski quote for my first bio. He’s a writer I have a lot of time for, and out of curiosity, did a Twitter search of his name. There was only one other reference to him, another quote, in the bio of a young female journalist. As I said, Twitter felt more open and relaxed then, and I sent a brief tweet to the young writer, saying that it was good to see Bukowski being quoted, and I included a link to another, longer quote of his about the nature of writing. The young journalist replied enthusiastically about Bukowski and the link. That was that. But I’d wanted to say something else, to tell the young writer that I had once known and worked with her mum, who had died some years before, and that when I’d worked with her, she’d seemed very happy. I thought it might make her feel a bit like i’d felt when people spoke about my dad. But then I checked myself, thinking, maybe this young lady will not welcome such a comment about her mother, from a stranger and may think I was some creepy guy trying to chat to her. So I left it there.
But I hope other people said nice things about her mum, because it’s hard when you lose them when you’re a kid.
RIP the young journalist
“You have to die a few times before you can really live.”
― Charles Bukowski