Loss. And Amy.

It’s been quite a week for loss.

Processing the abomination in Norway has been near impossible. The grimly pixelated photos of those young bodies on the rocky shoreline will remain etched in my mind forever.

It was hard to imagine that there was more to come but just hours later, Amy died.

Amazing Amy; a bee-hived poet, a musical genius, and an addict.

Stripped to its bare bones, she was a woman of just 27-years-old.

But please, let’s not romanticise the number. She was young, she died. It’s tragic. Shut up about the stupid club.

I remember being at a friend’s house in North London when I heard the album, Frank, for the first time. It was like someone had broken open my soul and poured vinegar and honey in the cracks. Back to Black came next. Has there ever been a more visceral collection of songs? I think I’ve listened to part of that album, if not all, every week since its release.

Her death – a woman I’d never met personally – has upset me beyond measure.

Because she was so talented? Or because it seemed inevitable?

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because 27 is no age to die.

The year I turned 27, my dad died…and a few months later I sold my first film script. I was just getting started.

I don’t know what addiction is. I’ve never been around it and I’ve never felt compelled to lose myself in drink or drugs.

I’m 43 now. And I feel utterly mortal in a way that I never did in my twenties. These days I have a keen sense that time is running out. I’m just glad my clock is ticking slower than hers.

Amy’s death holds up a mirror to us all. We owe it to ourselves – and to those who die pointless, needless deaths like those poor Norwegian schoolkids – to make the most of our lives.

In my absolute darkest days, I have asked myself, ‘What am I doing here?’

Sometimes, I feel so lonely and scared, I have to scrape myself off the floor. It’s only the cat mewling for food that gets me out of bed.

But even in those moments, I cannot imagine giving up on life.

Did Amy? Did she give up? Is that how it works with addiction?

I honestly don’t know.

I just know that losing Amy hurts.

Proper hurts.

I drove along PCH this afternoon, looking at the ocean, the beach and the sky. Taking it in, like I was seeing it all again for the first time.

There are moments in your life when you know you are really living.

This afternoon, I felt that more than ever.

RIP Amy.


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