I have had to let the news of David's passing sit for a bit before I could write about him.
David was a good friend of mine. We knew a lot about each other and I could tell many stories. But it seems to me that so much of that is personal now.
I got to know David when I first wrote for Threads and he was my editor. He was a wonderful editor, the best that magazine ever had.
One day, about 20 years ago, he called me. "I've just read the Shipping News and I am going to come and visit you."
Now of course that book was written about Newfoundland and a long way from my little house in Halifax but he came anyway. I moved one kid out of a bedroom and sent him into the bunk bed with his brother, and David stayed very happily in a boy's room and slept in a narrow single bed.
He was the kind of person who spoke to children as if they were adults. My three kids really enjoyed having him here. He just fit right into family life. We talked about everything.
Over the years David and I kept in touch and saw each other in person when we could at various sewing shows.
We used to write each other about our schemes and plans and sometimes our worries. He was the kind of friend who if he read that something was bothering you in an email would just phone you up to discuss right away rather than write back.
He had of course the most wonderful voice.
What I want to tell you about David Page Coffin is this.
He was the most genuinely authentic person I have ever met. He was exactly who he was, author, sewer, musician and painter, and there was not one thing about him that was not original and authentic.
He was the real deal, absolutely the real deal.
I also think it is important to understand that everything he did was motivated by his generosity to other people. He always had time for you. He truly respected everyone he talked to. All his writing and teaching were motivated, I feel, not simply by a love of the craft but by a love for people. There is a big difference there.
DPC wanted to share useful things he figured out in case someone found it helpful. His work was entirely original and self-discovered, accurate and true, and he wanted to share it.
Over the last few days I have re-read some of our emails. The last one I sent, at the end of February, was never answered.
I am just so sad. I have lost someone I really understood and someone who really understood me.
You just can't replace a friend like that.