Barely six months ago I sat down and wrote a post about Jay’s life and passing. As with so many things, I never imagined we would find ourselves here again so soon. Grief on the tips of our tongues, as those we support and love live through one of the hardest of times there can be; the loss of a parent. Then as now, I feel there is little we can say with any true knowledge, save our experiences from the fandom side. A few words are all I can offer, framed by my own experience of loss.
Robin Twist. A charming man with a delightful name, always ready with a large smile and a quick joke, not least at Harry’s expense. I remember him from the earliest days of The X Factor, at Harry’s side with the rest of his family cheering him on, and speaking of the new family Harry had found in the boys. Always supportive, always ready with a warm hug, always so proud of the boy who had left home to audition at sixteen, and who never came back home.
It’s a measure of the man he was that he had Harry be best man at his wedding to Anne, and that Harry was so supportive of their relationship. As a child of two families where both parents remarried, I know how hard it can be to make all those new relationships work, and it’s credit to all involved that they made it seem so seamless and effortless, and that love seemed to be the centre of it all. I’m also lucky enough to have step parents that just became parents; a safe place and a warm hug whenever they are needed. I know that’s not always the case with everyone when melding families, and I’m so glad for them all (from all we were privileged to see), that Harry and Gemma seemed to have that kind of relationship with Robin. A Dad, in all the ways that mattered.
Robin always struck me as someone it would be fun to meet for a quiet pint which would then turn into a raucous session, underlined with his quick wit and warm heart. A presence like a heartbeat, life circulating around him. These are things I’ll never know to be true, but I like to hope that they were.
I can truly say that Robin is woven like a bright thread into the history of the 1D fandom family, there from the get go, always so supportive and proud, even as recently as a few weeks ago, clad in Harry’s bright silver boots and his hat at his London gig, there with a joke and a laugh with fans. There are so many memories he’ll be part of, a hug and a smile, and a bit of banter. He had a sparkle in his eyes and it always caught the light.
Robin, I’m so, so glad you got to see Harry perform his new songs live (duck noise and all). I will never, ever hear Woman without thinking of you. You made me and so many others laugh so very much, with your ability to keep Harry’s feet on the ground in the funniest of ways. And that is a glorious thing.
To Anne, Amy, Mike, Gemma and Harry, and all his family and friends now living with the loss of such a warm and vibrant presence, I can only say hold close to those memories and to that laughter, to help you through the days when you can no longer find a smile. The days will seem endless, and they will not be easy. But there will, I hope for you, come a time when there are more smiles than tears. When those very stories will make you laugh instead of cry. I hope you reach those days when you are ready, and can hold steady to one another until they come to pass. I hope that you all get the quiet and space you need in these coming days and weeks, and that some day far from now you find one another again, in those places you’ve never been.