And I'm furious.
I didn't know him that well. We chatted happily on the rare occasions when we saw each other, but I couldn't say we were more than acquaintances. However, the honesty, passion and dignity he shared with us online as he fought couldn't help but be an inspiration.
I tend to like people, and Paul seemed well worth liking. Maybe that's why it's hit so hard.
I always get cut-up over death, even with people I don't know, it's why I don't watch the news. I feel it too keenly. Every disaster and accident that features serious injury or loss of life hurts. It saddens and depresses me. I feel for the dead and injured, their friends and families. Hell, I even felt sorry for Kim Jong Il's family, and Il was a right fucking prick.
The only other time I've ever been angry at a death was when my dad was dying. I drove past our old house and saw the neighbour who had made our lives miserable for years. It felt unfair, my dad was dying, and this person who made our lives hell, and abused her lovely brother's kindness, was still alive.
I wasn't as angry then as I am now, and that's saying something.
I've wondered if it's because of his daughter and wife. Being a dad and husband, I can't imagine my kids not having me in their lives, and I can't imagine not seeing them grow up. I told Lex I was upset about Paul today, and said that it meant Isla wouldn't see her daddy again. He sort of gets death in a limited way, and the idea made him a little sad, though he still doesn't quite understand why it means you can't see that person again, he only knows it does.
We don't hide things like this from our kids. We have a 76 year old woman and a 16 year old dog living with us, they're bound to lose one of them within the next 4 years, so sheltering them would not be a kindness.
But I don't think it's Isla. Jules and Paul have given her a solid start. She seems a bright, strong kid. I know that losing my dad absolutely gutted me, but I also know you get stronger.
She'll get stronger.
As for Jules, nothing can make up for the long painful process she went through only to lose her partner. But there's a community of people here that will do whatever we can. Give them space, be there, cook some meals, do some shopping - whatever they need to ease the process of starting their new journey. Jules and Isla have each other, and that will carry them through while they heal.
So, why do I feel angry at Paul's loss? It's ridiculous, not to mention self-indulgent, to moan about my rage at the death of man who I barely knew in the real world.
Maybe it's just that... he was a good bloke. It feels unfair. The guy was younger than me. He was a genuine talent. He was nice. He was brave, but not afraid to be a bit vulnerable, which is a whole extra level of bravery right there.
Actually, I think maybe it's because of the way he lived his life. He enjoyed it, and even when he was fighting his disease, he found time for fun. To appreciate how lucky he was to have Jules and Isla. To take advantage of the fact he couldn't go to work to keep going with his writing career rather than wallowing in self pity.
He allowed us to share some of that, with his posts. He shared his talent with us through his writing. And I'm furious because I can't help but think how much more he might have done if he'd beaten this thing. He was pretty indomitable as it was.
If he'd survived, he would have been a fucking force of nature!
There are people out there who bring nothing to the world but a sense of hurt entitlement. They are meant for greatness, but things are against them. It's not the right time. They deserve fame and fortune just because. Things are getting in their way. Nothing is ever their fault. They bring nothing positive to anybody's lives, including their own.
In a world of mediocre celebrity, where people are famous for being famous, the loss of someone truly talented and decent is keenly felt.
I'm not saying Paul was perfect, no-one is, but he was a worthwhile human being.
There's too few of them about, and now we're down another one.