Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Death of a dear friend

Sorry I have been away from here for a while. This post might explain a little.

Death of a dear friend
R.I.P. Richard Leslie Perry.

Last Saturday (9th June 2012) at around 5pm, a very dear and long term friend of mine, Richard Leslie Perry, sadly passed away. He was only 48 years old.
He will be missed in the world, he was a kind and generous man, and father, husband, brother, son and friend. His passing was due in part to a cancer, that took him very suddenly. His illness mercifully short. From being discovered with a tumor to the end was little under three months. He has left behind four great children, a newly wedded bride and many grandchildren.
I have known Richard for over 25 years and in that time we had shared many experiences and specially memorable times. I have watched his children grow into fine adults and worked with him and his wife in helping to raise and care for them over these years, whenever I was about. There were times when we may not see one another for many months, even years passed as we got on with living lives full and happy. But when we would get back together, it was as if hardly any time had elapsed at all.
I came to see Richard on an intuitive feeling that I had to see him. I was surprised to find he had been admitted to hospital a few days earlier, but happy to be able to visit and catch up. He was incredibly frail and was having trouble keeping any food down, the therapy serving to deny him an appetite. 
We spent about an hour and a half chatting, and I certainly felt that my friend, known for his strength, stamina and will power was on the road to recovery. Though in a very weak condition he joked and made a concerted effort to make me feel at ease. He never indicated to me nor any of his family the extent of his illness, and bravely soldiered on to the end, even though he had been given an expectancy threshold by the doctors. The cancer cut that time incredibly short.
His last words to me were humorous. I bent down to kiss him, and told him that I loved him, though I could not bring myself to believe that I would not again share a warm smile and his happy  company.

" It's ok to kiss he said."

" Yeah but I'm not kissing you on the lips, I don't want you getting frisky." I replied

" I just wanted your chewing gum." was his witty retort.

We held hands and said "see you later," maybe neither of us accepting this would not happen.

This was the man and friend I knew for all these years, smiling back at me, free from fear of what others would say. Richard was as close as any brother and I have several great brothers too.

On Tuesday morning, Graham (his youngest son) having great strength called to tell me that his father, my friend had passed on. I was devastated. 

I have written this poem as a memory to a great friend, one who I would gladly have swapped places with, if that were possible.


His voice I failed to recognise,
I try desperately to conceive,
The many other reasons he'd call.
You came to see Dad,
He's at peace now, glad to see,
One last time your happy face.”

I cannot breath,
Hands of ice gripping my heart.
Tears well swiftly to sting,
To accuse me again my lack.
He's gone as a candle snubbed,
Lost to our loving embraces.

Heart stopped, clock ticking, silence.
Then the tears of aching,
Stinging fury, flooding my face,
My friend has flown to grace.

Ages pass and I cry,
The echo along the line,
I pray his children time,
Wish my love could heal this crime.
Robbed of one who always cared,
Never lacked in what he shared.

Deafening the noiseless pain,
I'll never see him again,
Smile, receive his light,
Share a tender word unheard.
Oh friend I'll miss you now,
But we have to cope somehow.
To reveal the pact we shared,
I pray you'd knew I cared.

The love was in your eyes,
Laughter your final words.
You will never ever be forgotten,
Though I'll miss you something rotten.....

For Richard
With angels now.

As you you will probably know, I was planning to set off on my walk around the United Kingdom on Saturday 16th June. As there will be a funeral in West Sussex on Monday 18th June , I will respectfully be postponing the walk until the middle of this week. Wednesday 20th or Thursday 21st.
I will also be dedicating my walk to the memory of Richard Leslie Perry.
And I will also be  adding a cancer charity to the list of beneficiaries on my just giving page,with the consultation with his family.

Please bear with me on the updates, as I am dealing with this very poorly.