Do you have someone in your life that literally makes the world feel golden? Like, they enter a room and suddenly everything is brighter?
I only have one person that does that. And I’ve always been so grateful to have them.
I’m as cliché as they come, because Harry is the only person I know that could make me laugh no matter the weather. He absolutely loved his life and his energy bounced off him on to others like sunbeams dancing in the clouds – totally magical. There is no-one quite like him.
On the 10th March 2018 we had to say goodbye.
After fighting the hardest fight, Harry lost his life to cancer.
Four years ago, Harry was given the diagnosis – that with terminal cancer he wouldn’t have long to live. He was 15 years old and so full of life, no-one would believe it, most importantly Harry.
Harry had autism and that meant his brain worked in a mysterious and marvellous way. Instead of letting negativity take over his life, he absolutely refused to believe that he wouldn’t get better. His attitude kept him, and everyone else going, for four more years – defying any odds.
He and his family are our next door neighbours and our best friends. You don’t get to choose your family, but we chose them and it’s been that way for a decade and more.
Harry remembered everything – especially birthdays (and all the things you wish he wouldn’t!)
He had quotes for everyone in his life, that he’d repeat for hours on end whilst in their company. He found it hilarious to take facts he would always remember and adjust them slightly to make them incorrect. He knew it would get a reaction and he’d be cackling with joy each time he said it, knowing you’d correct him.
He was so polite and kind and of course, totally inappropriate. As an example, through the Make a Wish Foundation, Kylie Minogue was lucky enough to meet Harry (so his mum says!) and instead of being star-struck Harry decided to ask Kylie about her sister, Dannii. Asking how she was doing and what she was up to for the entire time they were together! Cringeworthy? Maybe. But utterly brilliant.
He loved to sing – music was his passion, and obviously he memorised every word. There are so many songs that I’ll hear and always think of him. He loved karaoke and would belt out his favourites with such gusto you’d think he might burst. Naturally, he recorded a few songs in a studio, so we’ll be able to listen to him serenade us forever.
Throughout his life Harry’s Mum and Dad fought for his independence. Autism was never a limitation for any of them and 200% made Harry even more wonderful. They taught him invaluable life skills that allowed him to lead a life outside of their family unit. He loved to walk Freddy, his dog, around our village and would pick flowers to take round to all of his friends for their afternoon cups of tea and cake catchups. After a while, Harry had to turn to weeds as his offering…the locals were getting a bit miffed at him ruining their front lawn displays! He made friends wherever he went and everyone in the village knew his name.
I wish the entire world knew Harry – because I truly believe it would be a better place if you did.
One could say I’m writing this down to remember, but I’m not. I’ll absolutely never forget. I guess I’m hoping that by sharing this with you, your lives might be enriched, even a little bit, by what a presence he was. I hope it will.
I feel so lost knowing I wont see his face again. That my world and so many others will most certainly be a little more dull in his absence. I’ve never had to deal with loss before and so I’m learning. I’m so angry, that cancer exists, that it’s taken so many and that Harry had to be one of them. He deserved the absolute world and I don’t think anything will ever help me understand why he needed to go. My heart aches and my chest feels tight – my head is fuzzy and my eyes hurt from crying. I’m mad at myself, that I could’ve spent more time with him, that I should’ve done more. I don’t want nighttime to come because then I feel alone with it, there’s nothing but my thoughts and a hole of emptiness. And I know I’m not the only one, we all feel loss so very deeply.
But I can’t even begin to imagine how his family are feeling.
I so badly want to be able to help them – knowing full well there is nothing I can do.
But I would love your help, if I can be bold enough to ask.
I want to give something back to them – to a family who have been through so much in their lives and just don’t deserve it. Nobody does.
Harry made this world a more beautiful place to be – he was truly an example of what the best kind of human looks like. And I would more than anything love to do something that will continue to keep his memory alive. I’ve set up a fundraising page, so that anyone who feels like they would like to, can donate to Harry’s family. I want to let them decide what to do with the money, whether they want to donate it to the charity that helped Harry or create something in his memory. Who knows how much it will raise, if anything – but I want to show them that even though it won’t be shining so brightly, there is still good in this world.
My dear Harry, you truly were one in a million and I will love you forever and more.
I wish you weren’t gone, but I am so very grateful you were here.
All my love always, Megs xxx