Today I found out Nic Hughes lost his ongoing fight with cancer. He was a loved husband, father, friend, designer and thinker. He was barely older than I. He was a peer and an idol at once. After Margot’s death he wrote me:

Dear Daniel, I think we’ve briefly met once and have occasionally exchanged email and comments from time to time. I talked to Steve at Greenbelt and he confirmed what I suspected from your twitter feed–that Margot did not make it.

I have no way of understanding this or coming close to your experience, apart from, that I have kids too. In the end, words are completely inadequate. This is to show solidarity and say that I’m thinking of you in this unfathomable moment of loss.

Hope this is not too invasive? Take care, Nic Hughes

On the way home from the office, where I was when I heard, I was somehow drawn to memories of a host of those we’ve lost. I found myself listening to Carter’s record. I happened to drive by where earlier this year we saw a teenage girl killed.

Later, in reply to my helpless email of remorse, our mutual friend Kester replied:

From afar, with the dignity and rage with which you dealt with your loss, you’ve already been such a help.

It’s hard to conceive of the fact that my own suffering gives space for others’, but I guess it is true. While I cannot create a narrative that accounts for our loss of Nic…while I only recently, in a moment of personal reflection, discounted all narratives that gave meaning to our loss of Margot…in it lies a bit of something that provides some meaning to others. As I discovered today, Nic once wrote me:

Narrative is gold.

Amen to that, and godspeed, Nic.

Here is something I recorded for Nic (as requested of many by his friends before his passing). It might give you a little insight into what Nic meant to me:

If you’re curious about the things I mention in that audio, check out Vaux’s page on or explore Vaux’s archive.