When you stop to reflect on life, or in my case are forced to stop and look death in the face, it makes you re-evaluate what it means to be alive, and what is important. Last Wednesday (not the one just gone) an old friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in a while was hit by a bus, and over the weekend was declared dead. Yesterday was his funeral. It was also his 25th birthday. There are few things that can shock you like the sudden death of someone still so young. There are few more seemingly ridiculous ways to die than being hit by a bus. When I first heard about it I thought it must surely be a joke. That just doesn’t happen in real life to people you know.
Funerals are strange things, and often you learn more about a person after they die than you knew about them in life (jazz ballet? really??). People talk about what they did, what they meant to them, you see how many people this one relatively short life had touched. There were so many people there who I didn’t even know knew him. Afterwards I wanted to catch up with a lot of people who I also haven’t seen in a while (I’m bad at staying in contact with people I don’t see regularly), but I can’t handle large groups of people at the best of times, so I just kind of said ‘hey’s’ to a few and then disappeared.
It’s a sobering thought, coming face to face with how fragile life can be. We all tend to feel so immortal. I think it’s a good thing to remember that we aren’t.
So Gareth. I’m glad I knew you. I’m sad I didn’t see you more. I don’t know what else I can say.