Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Stop the Clocks

overcast, cold, temps 13

This morning I received this message....

Murder by the Book posted the following at Facebook - "It is with deep sadness that we must share the news that David Thompson passed away suddenly on September 13, 2010. David worked at MBTB for 21 years, & he made an indelible impression on the store & everyone who met him. There will be a memorial service, and we will share the details as soon as they are available. In the meantime, David's wife, McKenna Jordan, asks that no tributes be sent to the bookstore for now. We appreciate the loving support that customers have always given the store, and in the difficult days to come we will need it more than ever."

I feel physically sick. David was young. A remarkable man. Not just a supporter of crime fiction, but he'd recently even started his own imprint. He was young. He was an enthusiastic, energetic, kind man. Knowledgeable. Passionate. Effective. Young. But more than any of that, he was a man who loved deeply. And who did he love? His glorious, remarkable bride, McKenna. Together they took over Murder By the Book. And then married, in a true love match, two kindred spirits, just a few years ago.

When Jacques died it wasn't a surprise. We could see that truck coming.

But this has laid me flat. And though I try to imagine how McKenna is feeling I can't. I spend most of my days imagining sudden death - trying to crawl into the hearts of those who lose loved ones suddenly. But when it actually happens, I realize I don't even come close.

And once again, I'm reminded of an Auden poem...and David and McKenna. Stop the Clocks.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I understand your pain. I just got news a few minutes ago that a friend of ours died suddenly. He was 63 - just a couple years older than my husband so I consider it young.

Alix said...

I love that Auden poem. My favorite line is "he was my North, my South, my East and West, my working week, my Sunday rest".

The thought of losing the person who makes up that other half of your soul... the pain of such a loss is uncomprehendable.

Someone once said that deep mourning is a kind of madness and I completely agree.

My heart goes out to Ms. McKenna as she begins this journey. While, I never met her, I am sure she will come through this painful time stronger and with the blessing of wonderful memories of the man who graced her life for so short a time.

Margaret J. McMaster said...

So very sad.

lil Gluckstern said...

I am so sorrowful for this. Death creates its own kind of emptiness. I have investigated books put out by The Busted Flush Press. My heart goes out to his wife, and to you for the loss of friends with whom you shared so much love.

Jodi said...

That is so sad. I was thinking yesterday about your friend Jacques, and my friend Jill (from Book Bunch, who died suddenly earlier this year), and trying to decide which was harder - slowly, you you get to say goodbye, quickly, they suffer less (but maybe you suffer more). Either way, it stinks.

Diane said...

I am so sorry to hear about the loss of two of your friends in such a short span of time. The poem you quoted from is very apt for all of us who face sudden death. Peace.

Anonymous said...

My dear Louise, I'm very sorry to hear this. Having been through this a couple of times myself, I guess I should have some helpful advice, but I'm not sure that I do. Each person seems to experience the shock in their own way, and what may be valuable to one turns out to be hurtful to another. Some people want to be surrounded with every possible reminder of the person, to keep them there. And some won't be able to stand the reminder of even a hint of them. Adapting to this sudden change in the universe needs to take its own time. Some seem able to believe that it's happened (as opposed to knowing it) very quickly, others need a long time for it. Some get hit with a flood of grief right from the start, and some can seem hardly affected for months. It can be bad for the latter when it finally hits. You will want to help McKenna right away, which will need a close awareness of what her response is; but first, or at the same time, make sure you attend to your own needs.
Alastair

Judy Wagner said...

We share your pain and loss Louise. David, and MBTB, seem to have always been a part of our lives, and it doesn't seem possible that he is suddenly gone. It was David who introduced me to your wonderful writing when your very first book came out. What will we ever do without him?

JKW said...

I am so sorry. I feel your pain and understand the hole in your life that is there. The first 12 days of August this year, I lost 2 very close friends, suddenly and for no reason I could see. I know how hard this is. The pain is everywhere we went together. I also know the pain of losing my partner/love of my life. Nothing is ever easy. . . but we go on. . . Many Blessings for you, your family and McKenna. Janet

Marni said...

Auden captured the immense and numbing feeling of sudden grief so a acutely. I send my condolences to McKenna and to you and anyone who knew this fine man.

Jeanine said...

I am so sorry. Words cannot express the depth of our feelings at this sudden and unexpected loss. My heart goes out to all of you.

Louise Penny Author said...

Dear Anon - So sorry to hear about your friend. We're feeling the same thing, I suspect.

Jodi - yes! Exactly like losing Jill. A total shock.

Dear all - I have read and re-read your comments and feel so warmed by them. I know it isn't easy to know what to say or write - especially with two deaths so quickly. Thank you for not just shrugging, or running away - both of which would have been understandable!

bless you!