Hi Ian

I am going to imagine you’re reading this. I scrolled up a bit to when we last messaged each other. We hadn’t talked for a while, but you said you were struggling but coping. I know you have been struggling and coping with pain for a long time. I hope you have found peace. Our world was not kind to you. When I met you – I was 17 or 18 – you were working at Zero F. Elizabeth used to get her hair cut by you, and we had similar hair, so off I went to get my haircut. I thought you were so cool and talented. Because I was a privileged white girl, I had no idea of the life you had navigated so far – I just saw you as a fun, happy and talented person and wished I had some of your talents. I couldn’t understand how your partying habit turned into a nasty drug habit, but I blamed the addictive qualities of the drugs and never recognized that drugs were where you found acceptance and an escape from the pain. I get it now. I wish I knew then what I know now. Maybe I could have helped you see yourself in a different light. I will never forget your joy in life and your kindness to me and your friends around you. I think about you dancing around Tracey’s garden as the “garden fairy,” as you described yourself. Your attempt to take back the word from the bullies who had tormented you in your youth.

I look around her garden and ask myself: were these some plants that Ian casually threw into that spot and then thrived? She always commented how you would just stick the plant in the dirt, and it would magically grow.

I have your daffodils (and Brian’s). They always remind me that better times are coming – as they are one of the first flowers I see in the spring. They also remind me that I have to do some planting and gardening if I want my world to be better. Ian, your life and death remind me that we have to do better for our children – you have renewed my resolve but I’m so angry and heartbroken that you decided to become one of my life’s examples about the impacts of trauma on ourselves.

I hope you have found better times, Ian. Know that you have friends and family who love you, and we will miss you so much.

Seen by Ian Mcewen at Sunday 10:41am