Afterward many are strong at the broken places

“Boohoo, oops, kool, fab, bums…” I always knew it was a message from Jay. He had such a lovely and distinctive way of expressing himself, as if he was there in the room with you. I can hear his infectious laugh as I write this, a guffaw often mixed with an element of surprise, like he never quite believed what he was hearing or being told.

Jay was always good humoured and kind, interested in other people and as pleased and excited for their good news as he was his own. He was never rude, short or cruel about or to anybody, he just didn’t have it in him.

On his wedding day, when he was so very happy, Jay quoted Ernest Hemingway as he remembered his mum and dad, “the world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” I found it incredibly moving and such a positive and brave way of dealing with tragedy in one’s life. Hopefully, the strength Jay got from these words is something we too can draw on when remembering him.

James Giles