I have just moved house and my studio is in boxes. So right at the moment when I would normally head down to my studio, get the thoughts out of my head on to paper, pear it all down and down into a form not quite resembling where it came from and them in five years time that would be the first time you head of it – a song that I knew the roots of, but you probably couldn’t work out – this time, I can’t do that, so I have written a blog. Because sometimes you just need to get something out of your head.
The thing about Ade, is that he is one of the few people that was described exactly the same alive as dead. No editing of facts needed post mortem, no brushing under the carpet the unsavoury parts, no need to big up or play down. He was then and he remains now, one of the nicest, best people I ever met.
A few months ago I was out for lunch with my family and a serious faced man walked past our table, eyes fixed ahead, mouth slightly grim, two kids in tow, and he went and sat the other side of the pub. My mind tick, tick ticked away and the penny dropped too late. I leaned over and said to my husband. “See that bloke over there in the yellow t-shirt? I know him. He worked on my first album – lovely guy, used to have crazy hair.” He looked like him, but not like him. So much so that even though I knew it was Ade, that niggling bit of my brain that says no too often, stopped me going over and saying hello, just in case it was actually some big mistake and it wasn’t Ade at all. That would have been so embarrassing, I thought. But actually, that would have been my chance to say goodbye to one of the best people I ever met, because a couple of weeks ago, Ade died.
I saw it on facebook, where all life seems to unfold first these days. I saw the fact of his dead only but I knew instantly the how and the why as well. I just knew. A friend confirmed the awfulness of the waste, Ade had been struggling with depression and taken his own life on a Monday afternoon.
At first I thought I knew because of that almost encounter – because of the change in him – the not looking like himself of him. But then as it played on and on in my mind I realised I think I knew from before, the Ade I knew in my early twenties, the Ade who was so enthusiastic about music, who bounced when he was on stage, who was a bit too crazy with his arms. Because when he wasn’t talking, animated, so full of life, he had a look. He had a sadness. I didn’t even know I’d seen it – or maybe I chose to ignore it because fun, kind, weird, crazy Ade was SO much fun, so kind, so good with my little niece, so much more straightforward that the truth. I wasn’t a good friend.
I didn’t know Ade well. I didn’t know him recently. It has been a long time with so much water under the bridge. Whenever his name has come up in the past, the room has lit up – everyone loves Ade. Then the thoughts drift off again and we all get on with our lives. Now when his name comes up it will be different for me – I will be so sad. And I only scratched the surface of knowing him. This makes me all the more sad because I think if his death make ME this sad, me who had moved on with my life without him in it years ago, if I feel this way, what about those he truly left behind? The people who are living with the space he left not just the sadness of the fact of his death. I think of them and I just want to cry. I just want to do something. But there is nothing for me to do that can help, all I can do is empty my head on paper and be a better friend to those still here.