Tolkien, artist

4/100 Remembrance


{Take the 100 Things challenge!}

How do you feel about death?  Is it your friend - a passage with well trodden stones that you look forward to exploring?  Or is it something that you fear – a dark tunnel leading towards a bright light, a progress through horrors towards an unknown destination?  When thinking about my 100 people, I am bound to come across some who are no longer living, but I never expected it to be a dear friend. 

Richard’s daughter came into the shop yesterday afternoon.  It’s not unusual for her to come and visit me; she’s a daughter of my heart as well as a crafter so she drops by every month or two.  But when I asked how things were going and she answered “Not so good,” I knew by the tone in her voice that something bad had happened.  

Her message caught me completely off-guard.  Her father, my friend since 1979, had experienced a massive heart attack at 4:30 in the morning and had died.  This friend of mine was suddenly not sharing my world; he had walked through that tunnel to join so many who had gone before him.  Whenever I thought about him now I would be met by a newly bricked-up wall in my mind. 

Richard was an amazing person – a talented computer guru, he worked for some of the cutting edge computer companies for years, finally settling down as a high honcho with a British company operating in the Twin Cities.  He moved up to Saint Paul from the farmlands of Indiana in the summer of 1979, just a month or two after I had moved up from the deserts of New Mexico.  His brother Steve was a good friend from our college days and had told me that his brother would be alone while he was establishing a home.  Both of us were getting married later in the year.  So I invited him over for a home-cooked meal every now and again.  We shared a love for computers, sports and were easily able to talk for hours.  Within a year he married Cindy and I married my DH.  The best man at my wedding was Rich’s brother, Steve. 

We were good friends of Richard and his wife, visiting them often and inviting them over to see us.  When Cindy became pregnant we rejoiced with them and we helped them moved to the small house that they still lived in now.  As the responsibilities of fatherhood increased, we saw them less often, but we were always in contact.  We were there for each other during family emergencies.  We enjoyed holidays together, and when Rich’s brother Steve died approximately two years ago, we all mourned together. 

My heart is in pain.  I am going to miss a dear friend whose death is still a shock to me.  His booming laugh, his jokes and stories, his love for his wife and daughter – all of these things helped to make him unique, beloved, and memorable.  I won’t forget him, I can never do that, but I will be finalizing my relationship with him when I attend his memorial service on Saturday, and the world just became poorer by one spark of love and wit.  I will miss you, Richard.  

*tight hugs for you*

Death of a friend or family member always comes as a shock to me.
I really feel for his wife and child. His wife has MS and cannot care for their house on her own, so they will have to sell and she'll move back to Indiana and stay with her family. It will be a major change for her. Thanks for your *hugs*, they are very appreciated.

- Erulisse (one L)
I am so sorry to hear about your friend. It's especially shattering when people leave so abruptly, there's no preparation, no time for the idea of them not being there to take root. Also deeply scary when it's someone of our own generation, not 'older people'. It's wonderful you had so many years of friendship though - so many good memories.

I - hope it's that passage of well-trodden stones, though we won't know till we get there, will we? If it is, then there are no true goodbyes, just temporary partings until we start the next cycle. If not - we won't have time to worry about it.
Souls are old, even if bodies are young. I think we have much learning to do and that continues in different forms/dimensions/times after we pass from this world. I hope, though, that he has joined his brother Steve and his brother-in-law John in a "well-met" toast before they all moved on together.

I'm really hating this, and I'm relieved that I'm off today because I keep tearing up and I am generally useless.

- Erulisse (one L)