Mike Blakey, a former contributor to this blog and one of the finest young men I have ever known, has been killed while working in Nothern India.
There are few details available but the Indian Police are treating his death as a murder. His body was found partially covered with stones in a gully near a church.
Mike was a man of tremendous gifts, funny and clever, compassionate and determined — he lived his life with courage and integrity. He wrestled with his faith — how many times did he tell us he wasn’t a Christian in his early days in Swansea? — and it became for him a source of strength and purpose. Mike dedicated himself to justice for the world’s poor and had a special zeal for the sufferings of people of Tibet. He was in Dharamsala working as a volunteer with children. He knew that he was in a hazardous place, but he went where his faith and principles drove him.
This news has been so devasting. I offer my condolences to the folk at Tong-Len, the charity of which he was a trustee, to all his other friends here in Swansea and further afield, and above all to his family. It was a privilege to have know him.
I’ll end with Mike’s own words
I hate goodbyes.
I think everyone does. It’s nice to think that at least you’ll always have the memories. But when you’ve missed out on the memories that you could have had, you can’t help but feel a little saddened.
To think what could have been is a dangerous thing; it helps no one. But how do you think otherwise when you have to forget the one person you’d like to stay? How do you feel when you’ve just said goodbye? How can you not think of what you’ll miss?
All these questions and I have no answers. I suppose that’s why I have all these questions. And what would I do with the answers? There’s another question.
Regardless, I hate goodbyes.
Especially this one.