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I'm happy, married, and looking forward to sharing my world with you! If you're interested, that is!

Friday, January 07, 2011

R.I.P., Rich S. 08/30/88 - 01/03/11

22 is just too damn young.  It makes me mad that the world has lost such a sweet, gentle young man.

I went to the wake yesterday.  I knew it would be difficult.  But I feel almost like I've been trained to "do" wakes, I've had to go to so many of them, and I wanted to say goodbye to Rich. 

But this one was REALLY hard.  Hard because he looked - well, he looked even younger than his 22 years. 

And he looked, well, he looked like Rich.  And that made it that much harder yet.  He had that little stubble  going on, that little smirk on his lips, his hair spiked up in disarray.  He was wearing a white t-shirt, just showing under the unbuttoned top button of his black and grey and white striped dress shirt.  I knelt there by the casket, just waiting to see him take a breath.  I couldn't believe he was gone.

I spent several minutes talking with his mom, who I'd never met before.  Something unrelated to his health happened while he was in the hospital that has her and the rest of the family reeling, something I'm not at liberty to discuss here, but after she talked about that and got it off her chest, she talked about Rich.  How she knew that that situation I referred to very vaguely back there happened because he would give anyone the shirt off his back.  She knew what a genuinely nice person her son was.  She works in a laundry.  Rich would pop in and visit with her and if he saw someone struggling with a large load of laundry, either coming into or out of the building, he'd run to help them with it.  My sister said he always offered to take out the garbage, and 7 out of 10 times she'd have to tell him, "Rich, it's not anywhere near full yet!"  He carried in her grocery bags from the car, while my nephew, her son, watched.  [Edited 01/10/11:  While this doesn't take away from the kind  of young man Rich was, my sister said I'm mistaking him for another young man...  Sorry about that!  I remember being there and watching someone carry in groceries for her, but apparently it wasn't Rich...  It was another of J's friends.]  He bought my mother, my niece's grandmother, a dozen red roses for her birthday this past summer.  He hung a shower curtain in my mom's house 'cause she was too short to reach, then went downstairs and vacuumed her whole entire first floor for her.

His birthday was August 30th.  The same day as my nephew's, his former best friend's.  (My nephew had a bit of an issue with his sister dating his friend and they were a bit estranged - well, J was estranged from Rich.  Rich was still J's friend!)  My sister's boyfriend's son's birthday is the same day, too - we all celebrated the boys' three birthdays together this past August.  I even got Rich and J almost matching T-shirts!

We couldn't have picked a better 1st serious boyfriend for A.  No fake I.D.s, no drinking or drugs, a heart of gold...  His mom said Rich was really, really, really serious about A.  Like possible future serious.  But college for A got in the way - as it should, don't get the wrong idea.  A left for college and as I predicted, she started to pull away from Rich.  But they were still friendly enough to be texting the week before Rich died.  I know she's having a real hard time with this, as you'd expect.  It's horrible when someone dies who's your peer, your age, and even worse, a close friend.  And when you're young, you don't have much experience with loss.  Most of the time, anyway...

Rich, you were in my life for a relatively short period of time, but you will always be remembered.

1 comment:

cookiedough66 said...

Actually, I don't think J ever watched R carry our groceries in, I don't know where you got that--J usually helps with that, when he's up. We usually go early in the morning, while everyone is asleep. R did always offer to help if I was bringing the garbage out, etc., more than any kid I ever knew. He helped A with her hamster, the car, anything. I am angry over this death that should not have happened. We all are, and we all wish we could have prevented this tragedy.