Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Everybody hurts...

And everybody dies.

As the lyrics should go.

I have a friend, a very good friend, that I've known almost from the first moment I moved back to Bristol in mid-97. He's a bit older than me - in fact he has children the same age as Mrs RS - but we've been firm friends through business and social adventures that have been hairy, scary and exhilarating. We even stayed friends throughout me having a major falling-out with his brother (over the small matter of an unpaid business debt of several thousand pounds, the one thing that will rile me. Still; fool me once, shame on me...and...well....we won't get fooled again*)

We met via the local pub, back in the days when we still had them round here. Before a bunch of people who'd never run a pub before stripped out most of the local boozers and turned them into 'gastropubs' - and then wondered where all the regulars went when times were hard. I know his family very well, I've been adopted by them for numerous Christmas lunches when they thought I shouldn't be on my own (even though deep down I did want to be on my own), I know his kids independently of him and they're all brilliant people. He was one of the first people I wanted to introduce Mrs RS to when she visited last year, because his opinion really mattered to me. We managed a football team together, we dreamt up brilliant schemes over a night's drinking (although what scheme isn't brilliant after ten pints?) and we created moments and mischief that will live long in the memory.

I found out a short while ago that he's dying.

He has something for which there is no cure and for which the chances of a transplant are minimal. I was led to believe it was a six-to-twelve month time frame, but we saw him last weekend and the summer may not be as bright as hoped for. Hell, the next couple of months may be all we have left. As a Buddhist he's rather sanguine about the whole thing and is rather typically more concerned about the effect this is having on other people - and maybe if he's determined not to be bothered about it then maybe I shouldn't be bothered about it around him. But I am bothered about it. There are a lot of people I care about who are about to lose someone very dear to them.

I've lost relatives before, family friends etc. This, I feel, will be worse. You don't choose your family but you do choose your friends. I've relatives I never see, don't have anything in common with and don't particularly like. The relatives I talk to are the ones I see as friends too. Blood is not thicker than water to me, not in the slightest. This will hurt.

Lots has gone on in the last few weeks - work issues, illness, Mrs RS collecting every cold virus known to man, a birthday in the middle there somewhere, another cold during the four-day Easter weekend and a return to drinking for the next six months - but all of that is just a minor speck in the looming shadow of something I don't want to face, yet have no choice.

So please excuse the gap in posting and the introspection, but some things in life are just more important.

*Obligatory Dubya reference on today, the anniversary of his ascension to the rank of Grand Wizard in the Order of Twats.


Jack said...

Mr RS, I feel your pain at the moment, but in slightly different circumstances. My dad's brother died last week and the only relative I am close to is my gran ... and nobody should ever out-live their son. It's just not right.

Chin-up though. It's your God-given right to be pretty damned upset about the whole thing, but your friend will need you around - make it time for more good memories, or you'll rue the chance in the future.

P said...

*Hugs* Hope you're okay.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Ah, hell man... you've every right to be down.

Take the time to make some more splendid memeories of him for yourself, your friends and his family. We'll be around when you come back.

Pearl said...

Ah, Squirrel, I am so sorry to hear this, so sorry.

I wish I could be there, physically, for you; but like Kevin said, we'll still be HERE for you.

Warm regards,


Anonymous said...

Dearest Little Squirrel,

I absolutely hate the pain of death...because it is unescapable. Time is the only relief, and those hands move insufferably slowly.

I, too, am here for you my friend. When you are outraged, sad or frustrated, or find a moment of humor in a dark time - know that you can express those things to your bloggy friends and we shall virtually stand firm with you through it all.

You are a good person.

Much Love,
Sweet Cheeks~

Red Squirrel said...

Jack - sorry to hear about your uncle, and I realise everyone goes through it. It does pose the question whether knowing about it for several months in advance is better than something sudden though...

P - thanks :)

Kevin - cheers! Plans are afoot to get as many memories in as possible. I need to take full advantage of what time we still have.

Pearl - thanks for the kind words. I'll not be disappearing entirely, as you'll see :)

Sweet Cheeks - that means a lot to me, thank you.

weenie said...

Chin up, although I know it's not easy.

Least on a lesser note you have hopes for Champions League next season... :-/