It’s 10 years this week since I went to Hamilton, 10 years in 2 months since I turned 50 and 10 years next week since we said goodbye to Jonathan. Last week a postcard from him wishing me happy birthday fell out of a cookbook (I don’t cook often).
I was trying to find a quote from Russell Hoban (I think) along the lines of wanting a good death for himself. Jonathan didn’t have a good death due to intense pain but the days before his death were remarkable. His house was full of people and several meals were cooked and gins drunk. We visited with him upstairs but as the end drew near only the close friends entered his room. I said good-bye to him before I left for Hamilton and returned the following week after his death.
There were many visitors, showing the esteem in which we held him, and reflecting the generosity he showed to his friends (but not his enemies – he was, after all, not perfect).
His cousin Matthew decorated his coffin.
Then the women lined it with his favourite lavalava. We were led in singing “You are my sunshine” by his old friend Witarina as we closed the coffin lid, and we walked behind the coffin to the Paramount theatre where his friend F had made a wonderful fern backdrop/hanging. The theatre was full.
It was a memorable end.
I wonder what he would make, now, of Facebook (I think he’d be there), Twitter (maybe) and all this social networking stuff. Communication was his thing, as well as movies, post cards and a certain distinctive dress sense.