It’s taken me at least three weeks to write this. I can’t think of a title. I can’t think of a way of making it coherent.
Three weeks ago, an amazing and wonderful person died. And I miss him very, very much. And I know that hundreds of people across the world also do. And most of us never met him in person. But the loss is still very real.
We never finished one conversation, about what we would do if we were ever guests on “I’ve never seen Star Wars” (If you’ve never heard it, it’s a Radio 4 comedy show hosted by Marcus Brigstocke, where celebrities are invited to try 5 new things. The list ranges from watching Star Wars, to trying shellfish for the first time). We were thinking about what we would choose, but we were having difficulties. Me, because I’m too scared to try a lot of things (I am NOT jumping out of a plane); Adam, I suspect, because he’d already done a lot more than I had in his 15 years.
Adam was just an amazing influence on policy-makers and NHS leaders. A few days ago I sat and heard tributes from big-wigs and Twitterati. I’m a junior registrar for goodness sake; what am I going to add to that? Other than I miss him.
And I have to be honest, there are some things that I don’t think that I’ll ever learn or appreciate. I don’t like Eggheads (more of a University Challenge fan I’m afraid, although I did try!); I might have some slight tolerance for football (but definitely not Chelsea); and I am confident that I will never understand the point or attraction of Formula 1.
The one thing that I really wanted to learn from Adam, and he was so good at sharing, was his outlook on life. I miss his “bounce”- I wonder if this is what people mean by “resilience”. Because he seemed to come at things from the positive, but wasn’t scared to tell it as it was; to challenge whilst encouraging. It wasn’t confined to areas of policy or practice (although he questioned that frequently; things that I’d taken for granted), but he extended that to me, as just me. So when I came home after a night shift and I started questioning my every decision, Adam would reassure me. It wasn’t trite and meaningless; it was full of sensible suggestions for the future.
Above all, he told me that it didn’t matter if I got something wrong; what mattered was that I learnt from it; that I got up the next day and went back into work to try again.
I like to think that Adam is swimming and diving in deep green waters. Whatever he’s doing, I know that there’ll be plenty of bounce.