Paul Richardson is gone.
Almost none of you will know who I’m talking about, but that’s okay, because no one can know everyone so there are bound to be people who Paul didn’t touch. I haven’t seen him in years. I don’t even remember if I saw him at our high school reunion last year because there were just so many people there. But when I think of the kid I knew when he was five and in love with my kid sister, I smile. When I think of the man who died alone with his dog and was found at the bottom of the stairs, I want to weep and not stop.
In the last few years I’ve been dealing with my own mortality and not doing very well. I’ve had a couple health scares that were just false alarms, been fighting an unexpected depression which keeps coming back and been teetering on an edge that scares the hell out of me. None of this reflects on Paul’s untimely death, but his death does break my heart just that little bit more.
I’m going to try and deal with it as best as I can, try not to think about other young lives I’ve known that have ended too soon, by accident or sickness or despair. I suppose I should get back to reading one of my many books by Dr. Deepak Chopra. He helped me see a bit clearer when I had a chance to speak with him the evening before attending the funeral for a toddler, so maybe it’s time again to seek his words out.
Anyway, it’s late, Sue is snoring on the couch and we both need to go to bed. The animals are passed out and I’m feeling maudlin. To finish off, I’ve put Paul’s obit at the end.
Be well and hug the ones you love. If you don’t have anyone, send me a note. I can be an insensitive bastard at times, but once in a blue moon I actually understand where another person is coming from and can find it in me to share words of comfort or encouragement. Hey, and maybe, just maybe, you can help me find my way out of the dark.
Ciao for now.
Suddenly, at home following a brief illness, at age 48. Beloved son of Donna Richardson and the late John Makin Richardson. Dearly loved brother of Kim and Gerrit Buitenhuis, Mark and An Richardson, and Karen Anne Richardson. Admiring uncle of Leslie, Martha and Jenny …Richardson, Amy and Graham Buitenhuis, and Kayla and Benjamin Richardson-Piché. Paul’s sense of humour, kindness, zest for life and many talents inspired us. His love of animals, nature, gardening, photography, the guitar and his devoted friends sustained him. Paul’s sudden loss is profoundly felt by his family, many friends and his beloved dog Ozzy. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 7, 2010 at Lawrence Park Community Church, 2180 Bayview Avenue (at Dawlish), Toronto. A reception to follow at the church. Donations in Paul’s name may be made to Evergreen at http://my.evergreen.ca/paul. Flowers are gratefully declined.
We are born. We die. If we are lucky, we touch peoples lives and make and impression, so that when we are gone, we will be missed. Obviously Paul did that well. He will be missed.