I’ve been told to write about what I know.

Well at the moment, what I seem to know is loss. The bewildering emptiness that comes with that phone call in the middle of the night. Why is it always at night? Is death afraid of the brightness of the sun?

You feel what that phone call will be about, a few split seconds before anyone tells you anything, you know.

Then you hear, and it’s like crashing in a wall of cotton, everything just goes silent at your core for a while, as in your whole body was folding in a ball of darkness.

They call it shock. Apparently, you go into shock. That’s a nice word to say that you can’t wrap your head around the fact that you will never see that person you love again, never hear their voice, never see their smile again, except in your sleep.

It’s a nice word to say that your whole body, mind and spirit are fighting against the dreary stillness of death, its definite inexorability, the slashing cut it makes on your soul.

And yet you try to keep hope. You try to believe, really believe, that when it’s time for you to go they will be waiting for you on the other side, whole and happy, their spirit alive and blooming, having tea with John Lennon and Karl Marx, as if these years you were apart never happened, and never mattered.

But until then, you sit down, and you cry, you smoke and your drink, you look for some light in that ball of darkness, and you carry on living, because life, and love, and light are your best weapons against the revolting stillness of death.  You choose to carry on with your life, because that’s one life that death has yet to claim.

You choose to carry on with your life, because the people you lost were fighters, and the only way to honour them is to keep up the fight.

After all, you don’t want them to shame you when you’re having that tea with Marx.

For Nicolas and Bassem, may your shining souls keep leading our way