I cannot altogether describe what first struck me when I saw in the early hours of Monday morning, that Robin has passed. It was not shocked sadness, nor relief that he was suffering no more, my thoughts instantly headed toward his family. The stress and fears of these past months, the ever changing prognosis and information, trying to juggle the media hunger for details versus the anguish of maintaining dignity and privacy, the desperate need for hope tempered by the inability to change anything, how as a family each alone and collectively what it put them through.
My knowledge of Robin is pure media fed, I grew up with the songs and music videos, the personal appearances on tv chat shows and such like, the printed articles in the newspaper and magazines. All these things are designed for one thing, to portray a slither of the person the media decides they shall be. That media decided Robin would be the eccentric, eclectic, slightly quirky, unusually voiced, idiosyncratic and news worthy. News reports being published as a mark of respect or obituary share photographs of his numerous stylings, somewhat questionable colour sense, his personal proclivities but above all the [to the media’s mind] irregularities of his personal life. Where as in truth no one knew him, other than his nearest and much dearest.
While washing the dishes and thinking about what to put in this blog piece I had one thought coming to the fore, Robin truly was his own man [in fact I think that was something his eldest brother Barry often said of him]. Robin seemed to have discovered the confident air to be as he wanted to be, whether it was flaming copper haired [reportedly inspired by the colour of his red setter dog], pythonesque witty, ardently passionate, or simply quiet and comfortable in his own thoughts.
Possibly with the tenth anniversary of my Mother’s death, I am thinking of his children, how dreadfully sad that his youngest never had the chance to really get to know the man, to have those important memories. For his elder children, in particular his eldest son, who despite approaching an ‘O’ bleeding heck birthday still is Robin’s little boy, successfully working on his own musical career, being his own man. I truly hope they have someone whom they can release their emotion upon, so often we want to be the strong ones, be there for the other, but someone needs to be there for you too.
I cannot imagine the sorrow and utter desolation of Robin’s Mother, who will witness the funeral of a third child, nor of Dwina, Robin’s wife, who oft described him as her soul mate, with whom she shared a birthday.
Some of my readers will know I maintain the web site of Stephen Gibb, Barry’s eldest son and Robin’s nephew, I struggled when writing the condolence card, after all what do you write about someone you did not know personally to someone who did know him as family. Grief is an exhausting process, unique to us all, so strange, when my parents passed dealing with the affairs delayed it, when other have passed it was instantly there as stinging as a slap in the face.
I wholeheartedly crave that before too too long that the wealth of memories that are hurting right now will bring some sense of comfort, some glow of reassurance and some sense of peace.