I met Kris Hembury, as with many of my Brisbane friends, through the Vision writers group. He had a wicked sense of humour, a love of puns, and a fierce imagination. I still remember a space story of his, about a guy trapped in what amounted to a box. A beautiful piece of writing, affecting and sincere. Poignant even if you didn’t know the author was in a wheelchair with limited mobility, who relied on voice recognition software to handle his prose. Who could play a mean thief in Dungeons & Dragons, too, the one time I had the privilege. Thing was, this guy with the heavy, battery-powered wheelchair would be at everything – signings, workshops, the monthly meetings, with enthusiasm and interest and a damn fine eye for a critique. He put me to shame in terms of getting up and getting out there. I didn’t know him well enough to give you a proper obituary; he was 29, and too damn young with too much damn promise and way too much potential. So news of his death has sent a wave of regret through this community who knew him. The emails came plentifully today as the news spread, with words of praise and sadness, and sympathy for his family.
Life is short, maybe even shorter than we know. Live without regret, value your friendships, and try to leave something beautiful behind. I like to think Kris has done all three. Vale, friend.