In loving memory of John Kirk...

In life we all find ourselves wearing a mask of some description at some point in our life. Perhaps it’s one of confidence to help us hide our fear of public speaking. Maybe is simply applying make-up to help us ‘face the world’ or seem ‘normal’.  It could well be being the joker or class clown to hide what we truly feel inside.
Sadly we found out just how big a mask our beloved friend John had been wearing. 

Always the life of the party. The one who could bring a smile to the face of all who met him. The one who would help you overcome your own fears or worries.

I first met John more years ago than I can remember. The memories that we made will forever stick with me, especially his camping expertise earning him the nickname ‘Bear Grylls’. Watching him start a campfire with nothing more than a stick! His skills were very impressive, but you quickly learned never pitch your tent too close to his fires, they tended to get big (controlled but big), which may not be healthy for the tent.

He could, at times, be a bit clumsy. I’ll never forget the day I ended up calling the AA after he managed to lock the keys in the car. Nor will I forget the feeling of John having his own laugh at me when I managed to do the same not long after his passing.

No matter how much of a joker John was, he was always reliable (even if he was always the last to arrive at the dive site though lived the closest) and someone you would always trust to help rebuild your confidence. After knee surgery in 2012, John was one of two very good friends that buddied with me on my first dive back. Making sure it was taken at my pace, helping where I needed it, keeping my spirits high, a dive for which I’m forever grateful.

I share these memories as there will be no more made. John was battling internal demons. Demons he kept so well hidden nobody saw. Nobody suspected the end of the battle.

In September 2023 John took his own life, a huge shock to all that knew him.

His memorial was a wonderful celebration of John’s life. Laughing at the stories shared, remembering the man we love but also finding a sense of peace that John no longer has to hide behind his mask.

In John’s name my company, Angel Analysis Ltd, have partnered with Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) to help raise awareness of Suicide, particularly in men. In this small act we hope to aid others to reach out and find the support they need to remove their mask… before it’s too late.