|Craig (left) and my two boys, 1996.|
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.'