My still and forever loved boy

Even now, in 2013, I still have to take my courage in both hands to write of this.

My son Henry, a golden, sweet, much much loved boy of 24, was killed in a road accident on 12 December 2007.

He has left such a gaping hole, such an echoing emptiness, that nothing will ever manage to fill it. What follows here is for him: he was at the beginning of a writing career; but he could also draw (see bottom of this post), think about stuff, charm anyone (but not in a bad way) and, above all, make everyone laugh.

I loved him and liked him; and in return, I felt loved and liked - but also forgiven - by him. It doesn't get much better than that and perhaps that's why it remains so difficult. Even now, there isn't an hour of any day or night that I don't miss him: my boy, my son, my friend, my brother (the one I never had - if you want irony, read the poem "My brother", written long before - it's in Poemology on the blog).

If you're still curious - or whatever - I've also posted the text of a little book I've made, called "A Letter to Henry". But be warned - it's a long read.

This is Hen with Nat, the love of his life.


This is the (savagely) edited text of a newspaper report (29 March 2008) on the inquest:

EVERY road in Suffolk will undergo a safety review after an inquest revealed the deaths of two young people could have been prevented if roadside fencing had not been in place.

At an inquest in Ipswich yesterday into the deaths of Kirsten Duffus, 19, and Henry Wingate, 24, Suffolk County Council admitted the roadside post and rail fences - of which there could be thousands across the county - are “a problem”. The impact of the car hitting the fence - which was protecting a drainage ditch - resulted in a metal pole puncturing the cockpit of the car.

Kirsten and Henry were travelling to Henry's grandfather's funeral at Ipswich Crematorium on December 12 last year when the Renault Clio left the road at about 10.15am near Ashbocking.

Also in the car was Henry's younger brother Max, who was Kirsten's boyfriend, and Henry's girlfriend Natalie Scott. They both escaped with minor injuries.

Henry was pronounced dead at the scene while Kirsten, who lived in Burgate, died at Addenbrooke's Hospital the following day. (ends)

Both Max and Nat have had to be so brave. No one should have to have experienced what they did.

Suffolk County Council completed the survey in 2010, but gave no commitment to actually doing anything. In the meantime, the council continues to erect new steel rod and concrete post barriers. I confess that I have abandoned my attempts to get them to act: my head and my heart hurt enough, already.


Here is a picture of Max and his much, much loved Kirsten:

What follows are some poems and stuff Henry wrote. I'm so proud to have them on this site.


Relations are a shady deal if left
to themselves.
feit breeds counterfeit until clear
from wall to wall,
the foundations disappear.

it’s all too hard to climb down,
to back down
without sight,
push onwards, upwards,
to a leap and a flight

or is it a push? it’s hard to know which one
& which one needs.
they certainly don’t; so tired,
pressing eyes against their grey glass seeing
no actions – only reactions

in the balance and i take no part
(my scales not being what
they were).
i’ve been led, now i am lead.
toxic & inert exacting pressure only
hoping to press back to the foundations.

Henry Wingate, from Not Expecting Fish


The next pieces come from Henry's own blogspot - I suppose it's OK to salvage it from there, a piece at a time, as I suspect these things turn to virtual dust unless someone visits them from time to time: perhaps to lay flowers or just to remember. You could try, if you're interested, to visit it on - there should be a link on the right.


For the second time in 24 hours I find myself addressing a silent and invisible audience. Also for the second time, I worry about two things. First, will anyone read this or is it a wordy piss in the wind headed unavoidably for the easily stained crotch of my ego? Second, will I mess up on something technologically simple, so simple in fact that when my error is noticed people will literally laugh themselves shitless, causing irreparable soiling of internet cafe seats everywhere?
Testicles. This is my official line as of now, so for any explanations, enquiries, FAQs or further complications please refer yourself back to the previous sentence. That is all.

On a lighter and possibly less defensive note, here's a stupid poem.

It's like a morgue in here...

There is a ghost in the house.
It hangs around
In the breath between vacuums.
Ask to help and
You only get grimed smiles,
A nicotine sigh.

It has no form and will appear
At the worst moments,
though may be there at better ones.
This can be disconcerting.

If only they featured things like this
On Attenborough or Crime Watch,
So when they appeared in real life we
Could identify, admire and appreciate
Before chasing it out with loud noises
and tricyclics.


I said he could draw: this is an unfinished, freehand drawing he did; very Tim Burtonesque.