Big hugs to you, Angus, and much love, always.

Big hugs to you, Angus, and much love, always.

Angus was the guy that you couldn’t help but like. Any effort to resist his charms would have been hopeless.

He would be your friend whether you wanted it or not.

If you entered into a conversation with him, he would be absolutely engaged, making you feel like you were the most important person on the planet.

Greeting him meant an embrace; always an extended and all-encompassing hug to make you feel absolutely loved.

On opening a door to see him standing outside your house, he would absolutely beam with a full-faced grin.

How could anyone resist that kind of charm when it made you feel like you were the most special person on the planet?!

For Junkii and me, our memories of Angus are simple. Sitting with him and Maria (his loving partner) at their home in Russell, drinking beer and playing Settlers of Catan. Or hanging out with friends at our place around a coffee table crammed with snacks and watching Angus, with a hearty laugh, encourage Spike (Angus and Maria’s dog) to rout out any food that had fallen into the shag carpet.

More than these day-to-day memories, though, our fondest memory of Angus was of that feeling he engendered in others; of how loved he made us feel.

Sadly, the joy and happiness that Angus so readily displayed outwardly was not strong enough to counter what he must have been going through on the inside. Last week, Angus took his own life… and the world is a worse place for it.

At his memorial this weekend, I was most taken by the words of Angus’s brother-in-law – and I’m paraphrasing here because I wasn’t taking notes: in taking his life, Angus did not intend to hurt anyone. That would be the last thing he would have wanted.

Given how much love and delight Angus put into this world, that sentiment makes absolute sense to me. And so I think it’s important to limit what anger we might feel at his action and focus on the positive: that Angus loved his family, loved his partner, loved his friends.

For whatever reason, sadly, he simply could not continue to stay with us. That’s heartbreaking. But there’s solace in the fact that he’s no longer suffering from whatever drove him to take his own life.

I have no doubt that, if that pain hadn’t been so insistent, he would still be with us.

Angus, we were blessed to know you and to have you in our lives. Now it’s our turn to follow your example.

Now it’s our turn to put more love out into the world.

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