Last year I wrote a post about my friend from high school who died tragically aged 17. Lynne begged me to send a copy to his Mum, and with every intention of doing so I tracked down his brother and had a tear-speckled email conversation with him.
I got his Mum's address, but I kind of lost my nerve (why? what was I nervous about?), and a full year passed until I finally wrote to her, a few weeks ago.
I received her response today.
It's a weird feeling, knowing that my letter and the blog post I printed and sent with it, made her so happy and so sad.
I feel conflicted, with happiness - satisfaction that I could express how I felt about him so well (she refers to the post as 'an eternal love letter to my beautiful son') and that my letter was 'so very welcome' to her - but also really humbled and unworthy to have intersected with her immeasurable grief. I think this is what held me back from writing to her for so long, I didn't feel ... entitled in some way ... to tell her anything about missing Adam. She owns the rights to that loss solely and completely.
But of course that was naive. And more than needing to hear that other people miss him, she needs to hear that others remember him, that he lives on in other hearts too.
She told me that after the first few awful years, she'd found a way that was 'manageable' to keep on going, but that just recently it has been very difficult again.
Maybe, as with all things, there was a reason I sent my letter to her now, not a year ago.
I found this in the high school diary I was reading through on the weekend. No Adam, you're my dreamboy.
For ever and ever.