Note Number 14…14th January…a Significant Date…


Today, six years ago in 2011 our family dynamics changed forever. We lost Tosh at the age of 27. He was a son, a brother, a boyfriend, a cousin, and an uncle, all our lives were affected in different ways. Every day that goes by I think of him and a couple of months ago I wrote this poem, trying to capture some of the emotions I felt and still feel and I’m sharing it with you on this post.


It is not right
It should not be
That he has left, ahead of me.

He was not done
Nor finished all
Before he took that tragic fall

There’ll never be a wedding now
Or children in whose face I catch
Some semblance of the boy I’ve lost
I wish him back no matter cost

I know

It’s better not to think this way
Of things he’ll never do or say
But just recall the good times had
Don’t dwell on minor things of bad

But then, I make him like a saint
This youth who loved to live and paint
On urban trains and midnight walls.
He didn’t heed friends’ warning calls
Or sirens from the boys in blue
He didn’t think their hearts were true

To him there was no wrong in graff
Sprawling images of this and that
Slashing authority’s senseless laws,
Fighting all the small man’s wars
Against the corporation greed
Upon whose profits politicians feed

He left behind some works of art
On streets, at home, and, in my heart
I know it was his destiny
To leave this world ahead of me.

Thomas Hartley November 30th 1983 – January 14th 2011

22 thoughts on “Note Number 14…14th January…a Significant Date…

  1. I can’t imagine the pain your soul must feel Ninette. I know it won’t pass but it must take its place. Thinking of you today. Love Althea xx

  2. Thank you. It does get a little easier each year Althea, but every anniversay, Christmas, birthday all these things throughout the year are harder days to deal with. As the family grows I am reminded that there will be some new little members who will never know him, nor will he know them…it’s such a shame. xx

  3. Love and thoughts to you and Geoff Ninette xxxxxx

    Valerie Clarke Sent from my iPad


  4. Graffitti was his life, I am sure he lived it very intense. I was just in a surfing place in Lanzerote, Canary Islands, on the west coast with very strong high waves, there was a memorial for a 30 year old man who lost his life surfing, it said: Surfing was his life ! When I was reading it I had to think of You and Tosh! It must be hard to have a son with such a strong passion. Your poem really moved me, Ninette. I wish you all the best, take good care, Oliva

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