When the news broke I turned to my wife.
“have you seen?” I said, my voice hushed.
She covered her eyes, nodded.
I held her. We could do little else. At times like this we need support, the warmth of human contact.
“we should see if the children are all right.”
She took my hand, and we went upstairs. They slept, oblivious. In repose their faces so relaxed, so innocent. Unaware of the maelstrom engulfing the world’s media.
I leaned over my daughter, gently kissed her forehead. “He’s gone,” I whispered. “He’s gone.” My eyes prickled with tears.
I didn’t, couldn’t, sleep. Those first moments, the first nights, after an absence are hardest. Would there be a press conference? Some statement? Or was the airport uncontactable?
I switched on the radio. Nothing. It was almost as if they didn’t care. But I knew.
As dawn broke the birdsong seemed strangely muted. The passers by making their way home from late shifts or off to early shifts trudged slowly, dragging their feet. They knew the world was not the same.
Tim had gone.
A man on the internet I had not heard of had briefly trended on twitter, and gone.
This was a gamechanger.