I was gearing up for a light-hearted, hopefully humorous, blog this evening when tragedy struck; tragedy of the genuinely numbing, incomprehensible kind. We'd turned up to prepare to an evening of youth work at Klub Novi Most to discover that one of our new regulars this summer had had an accident swimming in the Neretva in the afternoon. We were told he'd got an electric shock and was in hospital. He had been in Klub this morning, his usual energetic self; full of wide-eyed enthusiasm whether it was playing table tennis, pulling faces or practising his rock'n'roll poses with an unplugged guitar in front of the mirror.
About halfway through the evening a tearful girl burst through the door to deliver what in that split second had become painfully obvious news. He had died. Nobody wanted to believe it. In my mind all I could see was replays of him laughing and joking and making fun of me during this morning's session. 'Why?' and 'No!' fought to be my strongest reaction. I was hit by that instant hollow feeling that is loss and so many other things rolled together. It was only earlier today I found out he was actually too young to be attending Klub; I thought better than to flag this up to some of the stricter members of our team as he clearly got so much out of the activities. He was ten.