Rich • 20 August 2006 • The SnowBlog
Two weeks ago my friend Richard died. He and his wife Roni, who we're all thinking of, founded White Ladder Press about the same time as we founded Snowbooks and Hazel founded Accent Press. We were the three muskateers, challenging the industry with our little pointy swords and flashy feather-topped hats. He died at 56 of a heart attack.
On Friday it was Rich's funeral. No quiet shuffling off for him: a 20 foot blazing pyre with a pirate flag sticking out the top; shrieking late afternoon fireworks and Leonard Cohen playing in the idyllic stream-bounded field that makes up their front garden in Devon.
Dealing with death is a deeply personal thing and I have found that time is the enemy for me: as the days have passed I've found the image of Rich slipping in my mind from a life-filled man with huge warmth and generosity of spirit to someone who's gone, who's passed on, and that cold feeling, that fear of forgetting him and letting him die is awful. So it was of huge comfort to hear some out-takes at his funeral from his own recording of the audio book for his Rules of Life book, and then to read this weekend a couple of his books. His warmth, voice and spirit live on! What great legacy writing is, if you can do it - a comfort to those who knew you, a way of leaving your mark and affecting other people after you've gone. Good old books. Good old Rich. I'll miss you, but I'll visit you in your writing.