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Today I saw the news that the man I spent half of my nights with back in 2015 died.

We weren’t in a romantic relationship, we just worked night shift together. But in many ways it was about as intimate. I think he called me ‘wife’ from the first shift. Or at least ‘best friend’.

He was a good man. Better than he cared to admit. And just below the surface of his stories was a sadness and a loneliness and a sense of loss that I don’t think he wanted me to know about. But it was probably very similar to the sadness and loneliness and loss lurking just beneath the surface of mine.

When I left Wales, I mostly left the people I had known behind too. I wasn’t a good friend to those who had been so true to me during many times of need. I was still navigating my own dark night, and the weight of maintaining those connections was too heavy. I dropped them quite starkly.

So I never got to find out what happened in his life after we parted ways. I never found out if he resolved his quiet sadness. I can only hope he did. I really hope he did. I hope he lived a good life after I knew him, and I hope he looked back on it all at the end and was  glad that he’d made the choices he’d made, and that if it had to end, it was ending this way. And I wish him love and peace and freedom now, wherever he may be.

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