This is sad, very sad, in the truest sense of the word. My old friend from school Mick died on April 7th.
His body was riddled with cancer and he was in great pain at times when the medication was not working fully.
His funeral was just over a week ago on the 20th April. Hundreds of people turned out to honour him as a loved pub landlord and a focus for their community. He leaves behind many personal stories of kindness, humility and idiosyncrasy.
He was certainly not a clone and will be well remembered by family and friends.
His final few days were full of pain, fear and confusion. Despite his condition he seemed unable to face the idea that he was about to die.
Most of us would find letting go of life a terrible decision to make.
During his last week I spent a lot of hours with him and other members of the family and friends sitting with him and caring for him as best we could.
One person stood out in the wonderful circle of support that developed around Mick. She is his daughter Gemma. To mention her selflessness in every way would take a great space. Her example of loving and caring for her Dad was an act of beauty.
Mick and I had been friends since about 1963, nearly 50 years. The sad part is that over the last few years we had let our bond fade. This was not through bad feeling but just getting older, neglect, probably distance and each expecting the other to live for ever!
We were probably both guilty but my greater neglect is not something of which I have any pride in.
The only good things to come out of this are rekindling ties with the family and a very powerful realisation that life is finite.
I now know without any doubt that I will die. This leads me to the appreciation that living life fully is the only way to be and family and friends are to be treasured, not neglected.
Goodbye Mick. Thank you for all the good times and especially for sharing the music. Your memory will live with me and help me appreciate every single day to its full.
Michael Ronald Davison October 29th 1948 to April 7th 2012