'I'm always looking for the Hows and the Whys and the Whats,' said Muskrat, 'That is why I speak as I do. You've heard of Muskrat's Much-in-Little, of course?'
'No,' said the child. 'What is it?'
- The Mouse and his Child. Russell Hoban.

Go here to find out more.

Sunday, 9 February 2014


Craig (left) and my two boys, 1996.
A year ago our family shared in the sudden and inexplicable loss of a young man.

Nineteen years ago we moved to Tauranga and met the L family.  For about three years while he was still at primary school I used to pick Craig up from school and he played at our place with my three kids until his Mum or Dad picked him up about 5.30. Later Zoe started school and for a while we had both Craig and Zoe after school. We wouldn't have a kid's party without first checking that Craig and Zoe could make it on that day.  And likewise for their parents (who had become my closest friends) for the grown-up get-togethers.
Craig and Zoe went to the same University as my three, and this time last year Craig was home again after spending a year in Aussie working.  My James and he had been looking at a few flats locally and were deciding on one to rent together.  Craig was about to sign the contract for a new job.  About 4am on the morning of the 6th February 2013, Zoe heard a noise from his bedroom and found Craig on his floor.  He died half an hour later despite repeated attempts to revive him.  We still don't know the cause of his death.
Our memories of Craig are precious, and we will always hold them dearly.  

'It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up.  And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know.  It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is.  You foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.'

-Lemony Snickett


  1. Having also lost a son I can empathise with Craig's family. I try constantly to remember our son's/brother's wish that his life should be celebrated rather than his death mourned.

  2. I suppose the only positive thing we can learn from such dreadful events, is that life's very short, and to grasp every day. I still mourn my lovely cousin who was murdered in Canada nearly 40 years ago.

  3. A shocking story. In the old picture, Craig appears to be waving goodbye. The paragraph by Lemony Snickett really makes you stop and think. I had to read it three times.

  4. What a shock it must have been for his sister. Its always shocking when Young people die suddenly. It make us remeber how fragile live is.

  5. I'm sorry for your lose. It's difficult to reach closure on such deaths. It's good to write about it and keep the memory alive.

  6. My heart goes out to you. It is terrible when someone you love dies. If course it is a lot worse for them; they lost much more. But knowing that seems only to hurt our hearts more I suppose. Remember Craig as much as you can. May you grieve without too much pain.

  7. There's nothing sadder than a young person dying before their time and not to know the cause of death must be dreadful for his family. So sad for all concerned.

  8. How sad to lose one so young. Your lives have been profoundly altered. February 6th will now always be the day Craig died. My heartfelt condolences to every member of both families.

  9. Thank you for your comments and kind thoughts everyone.

  10. Dear Katherine, my daughter collapsed and died with no cause found when she was seven, so I understand totally how hard it can be to assimilate and move on from a death where there are no answers and that first anniversary can bring it all back with such forceful rawness. My deepest condolences to you, your son and the family of Craig. x

    1. Thanks for sharing this Elizabeth. And for your own understanding kind words.