How do you write a tribute to someone you’ve never met or even spoken to? Some people have an impact on you even in the virtual world of social media and I feel moved enough to write to him now.
I first came across you a few years ago when I bumped into your wife on twitter. She read my ramblings about MS with interest and would often comment and share experiences of her own. She’d been caring for you for over 20 years since your diagnosis of Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (PPMS)
She shared your struggle and pain but communicated an overwhelming love and humour which demonstrated how you both coped with MS together.
It sounds so corny and lame but it was obvious how highly she regarded you.
I hope she gathers the same strength now and is relieved your suffering is finally over and remembers you with the same warmth and love. This may take some time and I’m sure she’ll wonder what an earth to do with all the time she now has. I hope she travels or takes up all the things she’s been unable to do for years. I hope she thinks of herself without guilt or remorse because she deserves it.
I also hope she still reaches out to MSers all over the world via twitter and other platforms and shares her knowledge and understanding.
I was thinking about you both yesterday afternoon. It’s funny how people pop into your head like that and you wonder what they’re up to. I then checked my phone and she’d sent me a message to say you died yesterday morning. I hope she’s not too bereft and has friends and family close by to hold her up.
From what I understand from her you made it easy for her to care for you for so long. The way you dealt with MS should be an example to us all.
To use her own words;
“Everyone with MS should learn from him. He was and will always be my hero.”
I’ll raise a glass to you later, my friend I never met, and will think of you when I feel sorry for myself and need to pull myself together. MS is cruel and relentless but it’s still up to us how we deal with it and we can choose to keep the smile painted on, for our own sakes and for those around us.