I don't think she will mind me telling you that her sister died recently and through writing she has been able to release some of these energies we must acknowledge before we can truly 'let it go'.
I loved this man very much and am finding it hard to let him go, so I'm just going to write now.
On the 15th May 2019 my brother died. He was not my brother by blood but by his actions.
I met him in 1999, shortly before the death of my father and am very conscious (thanks to all that therapy) that I adopted him as a father figure in my life. But more than this he was the only (constantly busy) friend I ever had who ALWAYS had time for me. No matter what.
Here he is in London with my fluffy cat Prince. JP loved animals very much, despite also enjoying the way they tasted. He did (thankfully) never create a cat sausage!
I helped him build his first sausage factory in south London and was the only person who agreed to work for half the usual wage in exchange for a life-time supply of sausages. JP loved to tell everyone this story, because the punchline is that I then became a vegan!
In JP's own words "my real family are my friends". He had siblings in Germany but never talked much about them.
JP's father was an american soldier killed in the Vietnam war and his mother died not long after. He ended up living with an abusive uncle in Germany and ultimately ran away to the UK where he learned english and looked toward the future. Because now he had a dream in sight:
To be the Sausage King of London!
I was blessed to meet him at the beginning of his sausage journey and before my vegan days I probably ate more of them than anyone else! His palate and attention to detail was incredible and he had multiple awards to show for it.
He tasted not with his mouth...
I recall on many occasions (when living with him in London) top chefs from around the city would phone him in a panic:
"We need a new sausage JP! The customers are asking what does the chef have that's new?"
JP would grab a pen and calmly (in his wonderful German accent) ask questions to help him build a clearer picture. Once satisfied with the information, he would phone his factory directly with the exact ingredients and quantities, which would that night be turned into a sausage masterpiece and sent to the panicking chef first thing in the morning. And not once did I ever hear a chef call him to complain about what they received.
JP was the Mozart of sausages makers.
He could taste the final product in his mind, even when it was a totally unique combination, created in one moment of thought during a phone conversation.
Now that my friends is a skill which even this amazing rat does not possess!
The thing which pissed him off the most was his factory workers not consistently carrying out his recipe instructions to the letter. He noted that over time people became complacent and the quantities of ingredients became inconsistent. To deal with this he increased everyones wage and told them he would fire them if they messed up again. Which they did. And naturally he never fired anyone!
He loved them all too much, no matter how useless they were.
What exactly do I want to say here?
"Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water."
No, not that.
The funeral is in 10 days and I won't be wearing black.
Inspired by the film Captain Fantastic I intend to wear something more colourful.
And I hope very much that all tradition is flushed down the toilet and we are permitted to do it like this:
I have the perfect song to sing for him!
One can but dream.
Damn those shoes!
I have been told by the new factory owner that under no circumstances can I be barefoot at the funeral. This has been hard for me to accept. JP knew well my position on shoes and always respected it.
Anyway, to keep the peace, I will wear those damned shoes through the service and remove them at the first available moment.
The wake is going to last all weekend.
And I certainly won't need them for that.
We will party hard, just as he did all his life.
Love you Jonny.
You will never be forgotten.
Who is @samstonehill?