Christian is wanting your attention
As most of you are no doubt aware by now, a week ago a great friend of mine took their own life. Christian Atkin was not just my friend, he was the best friend I'd ever had, my soulmate, my partner in crime. The darkness and the demons that had been following him his whole life finally caught up with him that Monday night, and he chose to end his life by stepping in front of a train, near to a place we once lived, where because of the peace and quiet he spent his happiest years.
He took with him 13 years of our shared memories, a ferocious intellect and wit, an astonishing creativity which encompassed writing, music, art, photography and computer games, the last being probably his greatest passion of all. He lived, in short, with passion. The world, I think, did not quite know what to do with this singular man who fizzled and popped and suffered deeply underneath it all. Those who were able to see past what could be an initially abrasive, annoying manner, grew to know and love him for his pathological honesty, his huge empathic heart, his generosity of spirit, his ability to find humour in the strangest things, the way he got to you. If I start listing his qualities, both good and bad, I'll have a thesis on my hands.
Christian couldn't see how deeply he resonated with people, how he was a true force of nature. Today I went to fetch his belongings from where he was staying in the few weeks leading up to his death. The staff there said he was a 'delight', they'd all found him to be 'lovely'. From Christian's distorted perspective, as evidenced in the messages he'd send me, the people there wanted him dead, were mocking him, and this dissonance between what he perceived and what the world saw in him was played out pretty much everywhere.
His mental health had been on a downwards trajectory for months, particularly so after his mum died in March in such a way that he never was able to say goodbye. I'm not going to say much here regarding the mental health services in charge of his welfare; suffice to say that try as I might, and despite his mental health issues going back to before I even knew him, I could not get them to see past his uncanny ability to say the right things, his intelligence and eloquence managing to blindside them repeatedly, should they have known better? Possibly.
Anyway, the point. It appears that because we had separated a few short weeks before the incident, despite a previous relationship where we spent 13 years almost 24 hours a day in each other's company, I am not entitled to help from the Social Fund. Apparently it is worth trying for, but even then the amount doesn't even begin to cover what is needed. In order to give Christian a fitting and deserved send-off, it comes down to the usual thing, money.
I'm asking people to give whatever they feel they can afford, however small. Everything is gratefully received here and anything left over will be donated to a relevant mental health charity. Please help me give that big silly lummox (I liked calling him that) who thought that nobody cared, and that I'd be the only person at his funeral, a decent departure from this insane world. Thank you.
I'm glad you seemed to enjoy the service (as far as one can enjoy funerals), the woman who took it (Pip) is a wonderful human being and I want to steal her. To me it was not Christian in that coffin. His life force was by far too strong to be reduced to that. I'm trying to log into his various accounts to see what works in progress are retrievable, as perhaps as a sign of how unbelievably close we were, we knew each others passwords for everything and even shared the same passwords! It's difficult though as his scattershot approach to things means digging out what I know he was working on is a hell of a task.
So, thank you all once more and once this 'hangover' abates I'm going to start tentative steps towards building foundations for a new life. One which hopefully has a lot of you guys in it more, as everyone I met was genuinely lovely. Sorry I didn't talk to some people more, feel bit bad about that. My house is always open to anyone who fancies saying hi, just give me notice as unexpected visitors are a bugbear of mine! Anyone who wants my mobile number could you message me and I'm happy to supply it. As the lyrics to Tender by Blur go, "love's the greatest thing" and I agree, there was so much love on Friday. Although sorry Lennon and McCartney it's not all you need, you can't wipe your bottom or clean your teeth with love.
Much love to all xxx
Wow wow wow. It's amazing to see how many people truly cared for Chris. It's so sad that he didn't see it. Thank you so much for starting this Leah, at least we can give him a proper goodbye xxxx