I’ve just got home from a weekend away and learned that one of our friends – Brett Williams – passed away this weekend after almost two years battling with cancer. Even though this was in some ways inevitable, it’s still a shock because he had been doing so well and I cannot begin to imagine how his family are feeling right now.I can’t pretend to have known Brett well but I do believe that, on the whole, people can be classified in three groups – those who leave a positive impression on you and who make you feel good, those who may be fine once you get to know them but who (at least superficially) don’t really affect you one way or the other, and those who drag you down. Brett was definitely one of the former. I can honestly say that every time I met him he amazed me by always having a smile on his face, being extremely positive about everything and being a genuinely good guy.
We got to know Brett because he was a commercial photographer and my wife (not yet my wife at that time) worked with him on a few PR shoots. Later, he took our wedding photos – and this is a measure of his selflessness – there was no extortionate wedding day package, just a time and materials based fee – and he gave us all the negatives along with the prints. After some friends saw the fantastic job that he had done for us, he later took photos to capture their wedding day. Brett was also very supportive of my interest in photography – when I was between jobs in the first few days of 2004, Brett was happy to let me work with him as an assistant (I found an new job in IT very quickly so didn’t actually get to take up that opportunity) and when he switched from Nikon film cameras to Canon digital ones, I bought some of his old Nikon kit.
It seems incongruous to me that Brett left this world during a major Christian festival – Easter. Those with stronger religious convictions than mine will say that the Lord moves in mysterious ways. He certainly does if taking a man in his prime, leaving behind a wife and two young daughters is His idea of kindness. It’s times like this that reinforce my own agnosticism.
Brett will be sadly missed.