As I write this it is all pretty real and raw to me, on the 21st July 2006 the police found my cousin, Tony, dead in his flat.
Tony was a Canadian Scot, he and his family (my Uncle Barrie, Aunt Margaret and cousins Donald and Michele) all emigrated there when Tony was 4 or 5.
I can vaguely remember a summer when they all came back when I was about 4, really I remember golden sunny days out in my Aunt Carol’s garden, but the tales of my sister Julia chasing Tony for a kiss are family lore.
The next time I met Tony was when I went across for Michele’s wedding in February ’98. He has been out of contact with his Canadian family for some time but came back for the wedding and I can remember the day out I spent with him and my night out in Toronto with him.
It was a surprise when, in 2002, the Scottish family were asked if we could put Tony up as he wanted to come back to Scotland, to naturalise himself and then go on to explore around Europe.
I was excited that he was coming; I had got on well with him in my brief time in Canada and looked forward to seeing him again. He arrived in August 2002 and stayed with my aunt and uncle for a couple of month, visiting me in Glasgow a couple of times and meeting my friend Kirsty, with whom he found love and happiness.
Tony moved up to live with me in Glasgow in October 2002 and although the next three years had there good times and their bad times I remember some highlights such as his creative flair in the kitchen (and his inability to clean after these).
At times he struggled with things, after arriving here he was diagnosed as being Bi-Polar and had a great deal of difficulty with the medicines prescribed and what he saw as a recurring back pain. It is difficult to think back now and realise that this was the slow and steady problem that has lead to this tragic event.
Tony was intelligent, creative but very much aware of his illness, which makes it incredibly difficult as he knew his state and could do nothing to change it.
I know I have a degree of guilty feelings, but through talking to family and friends I realise that nobody could have rescued Tony, he had to want to be helped and unfortunately he could do that.
The last three weeks have been the toughest in my life, I have had to do things I would never imagine having to do and be places I never want to be again, however I am not angry with him. Through out his life I think he made an impact on people, I only wish he could have seen that.