For Richard

Richard, died before his time

I was reading a post some time ago over at Jenerally Speaking and I remembered the first time I heard the story of an old schoolfriend’s tragic death.

That was back in 2003. I never found out the reason why, and the press and the school where he was working as a teacher were discrete about it. There was something not quite right about it, because he had been dismissed from the school. There had been no foul play as far as I could tell. In any case my memories of Richard from schooldays were different – whatever happened afterwards. He’d play cricket at the local club with us, and was quite a mean bowler. We played Sunday night bingo (yes, really) and he’d had the wildest call for a house in the whole club. “Wearrrrrrghhhh yayayaya House!” he would scream.

The man who found him was quoted in the press (in the third person) :

He climbed a fire escape ladder at the rear of the building and when he looked through a window could see [Richard] hanging from a rope. With the help of others, he managed to break through the door of the room and attempted to revive [Richard]. He died later in hospital from his injuries.

I met a mutual friend of ours some time later. He was really cut up about the news, as they’d shared a place together for a while. He’d sat on a riverbank playing guitar (badly) for a long time one evening as thoughts of the past flowed through him. There was a long silence between us. Looking back, it was actually quite a serene moment.

I’m not going to dwell on this, but I simply wanted to dedicate this post is for those people I’ve lost. May you be well wherever you are.

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