I’ve been wondering for the last hour or so if I should put this up and it maybe the fatigue making the decision for me, but here it goes.

My first job in Social Work was working at the Activity Centre with the proverbial “at risk” rangatahi. A job that really shaped who I am today as a person with all wonderful young people that make me happy when I see them today as adults.

I remember a girl there called Charlotte, I remember her really well, like it was yesterday. She was always a big mouth at the Activity Centre. haha. Opinionated. Loud. Strong. All things I expect my daughters to grow up and be like. I remember her and another student Caleb used to argue ALL the time because they were both equally pig headed. haha. It used to drive Koka Hana McFarland, the manager of the Centre, up the wall. haha. It used to crack me up tho. Except that time when Caleb hulked out and tried to be an agro guy to Charlotte, yeah, that wasn’t cool. Caleb grew out of that tho, mostly.

Charlotte died at the start of the week and my week has been so busy I haven’t even had time to sit and absorb what’s happened and now that I have a little free time I can definitely say that with Charlotte’s passing my days are a little greyer. And it’s not just because she has passed away; it’s because Koka Hana is gone and Caleb is gone too and I won’t get to see any of them again and that makes me bitterly morose.

I just had a lazy FB stalk of your page Charlotte, and I see posts of you talking about walking a lifelong journey with your kids through their schooling, looking forward to 10 years time having a career. Knowing those dreams will remain unrealised breaks my fucking heart. 🙁 Being reminded that I won’t ever see Caleb and his cheeky grin again really hurts. 🙁

You guys are far too young to be leaving us. When life gets tough then hit someone up for support. We all hurt when you leave this earth, and it’s a hurt that may fade over time but will never completely go away.

Love One Another. 😢

‪#‎Manaakitanga‬

jwharehinga