A story of grief by a man and a boy

blue eyes

This is a guest post by Michael Hand and is the fourth in this blog’s Inspiring Friends series. 

The morning after I first met Desreen I came home and told my flat mates I’d met a girl called Des’ree. I barely understood a word she’d said the night before because she spoke in an unfamiliar accent and the words that came out were a complete stream of consciousness, which, until much later in our relationship, made absolutely no sense. My mates could see a change in me, though. They could tell this girl must have been pretty special. Weeks later, when they met her for themselves, they could see for themselves that she was. 

Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 20.13.18Michael Hand was one of these friends. He and Desreen fell for each another’s sense of fun immediately and she nicknamed him ‘Mickey Blue Eyes’ straightaway. His taste for a little drink and a lot of house music made them bond instantly. They were without doubt some of the happiest and most fun days of all of our lives. 

Just after Desreen died, Michael put together a mix of tunes that I suppose expressed how he was feeling at the time. It was beautiful but sombre and I could almost hear Desreen saying, ‘Oy! Mickey Blue Eyes! Cheer it up!’ I guess he could, too, because eighteen months later he’s put together a mix inspired by her life rather than her death. So, pour yourself a gin and tonic or a ‘little bump of wine’, hit the play sign of the bar below, turn it up loud, feel no shame in dancing round the room on your own, and you might just understand what it was like to be Desreen – the most fun person I’ve ever had the pleasure to know and love.



9 comments on “blue eyes

  1. Kate
    June 13, 2014

    Ahh how lovely. Will you share the compilation with us?

    • Life as a Widower
      June 13, 2014

      Just click the play button on the audio bar at the end of the blog post

  2. Jo Caddy
    June 13, 2014

    Top tunes! Dancing on my own with a ‘bump’ of wine and a cigarette!! X

  3. Margaret Jack
    June 13, 2014

    Thanks for sharing Ben. It was through you telling your story on BBC news early last year that I found out about MW forum, from that I have my “new friends”. I wish we didn’t have the misfortune to know one another but we have been a lifeline to each other
    Raising a wee JD to Desreen and all our guardian angels (even if we sometimes feel they disappear to watch the football or go shopping)

  4. Felicity Wilson
    June 13, 2014

    Saw you on the Australian news yesterday Ben. I almost waved at the screen! Eloquent as always. You deserve the accolades even though we all wish you hadn’t needed to strive for them. Desreen sounds magical. Still is to so many.

  5. Ruth Price
    June 13, 2014

    What a beautiful collection and brought proper tears to my eyes. Sometimes house music… Whatever ‘your’ music is, says the things that we cannot express ourselves. To be able to listen and completely let go, is the best and most healing thing ever. I miss those days. From one house music lover to another; may you dance your socks off and be lost for a moment in your happy memories and good times x

    June 14, 2014

    Sorry but I can’t find it; I just see a line with 00 and 00 at both ends! Help please 🙂

    • Life as a Widower
      June 14, 2014

      That’s it. You just need to hit the play sign before the first set of noughts

  7. Style Me Sunday
    June 16, 2014

    A brilliant playlist. Love it. thanks for sharing.

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