Dear Carl 

Tonight your colleague & workmate Mo sent me a video of the speech you gave when Atos retired.  The video is 15 minutes long – and watching you speaking, hearing you laughing, your mannerisms & your hand gestures, holding the paper out to read it (that must’ve been around the time you acquired your reading glasses!) and doing your 🤘🏻 ‘Rock On’ sign…..was like having you back for the shortest period of time.  I drank you in, your face, the shape of your shoulders, the expressions on your face…I soaked them up.  Just hearing your voice again was like the most beautiful but painful present I could have ever received.  I’m so thankful for that video.  If time dulls the memory of you that video has it all…..the familiar way you spoke, how you ended sentences with ‘So….’ – how I loved it. I loved it.  But I cried when it was over.  It’s so hard to believe someone like you, so vibrant & funny & well loved by your friends….and by me & your family….isn’t here anymore. 

That leaving do for a police dog…wasn’t just for Atos.  It was you…they did it for you.  They did it because you were so loved & liked & well thought of.  The speech was typically you, humble & funny and proud, so proud…thankful – you were thankful….thanking people for their help in making your job with the legendary Atos as good as it was.  But we all know, and everybody knew, that the real hero was you. YOU made Atos great and YOU achieved the things that made him legendary – because you were legendary & always will be.  You were the hero. 

The memorial service is on Friday. Two days away. I’m nervous & feel such incredible guilt in my heart for speaking at the service because I feel that’s not what your family would want.  I feel from their exclusion of me that I am not an important enough part of your life to stand up & talk about you.  But at the same time, I know what we had.  I know the love & laughter & memories and they don’t.  For them I’m nothing more than a stranger…an imposter.  Am I being over-sensitive Carl? You always told me I was over sensitive.  Will they mind? 

I’d like a sign or some kind of moment where I feel some clarity over it all Carl.  Please. Please. Please. Give me a sign.

I love you always. I miss you more than there are stars in the sky and I always will be missing a piece now you’re gone.

Tu me manques  my beautiful boy.