Sunday, 7 October 2018

The party to end all parties?

***David writing again...

Last night we had a party.  Perhaps the party to end all parties.
Not a wild, raucous, who-is-that-crashed-out-on-the-couch party, but the 'last party' at Richard's.
There isn't another like him; there won't be another party like his.

I posted on Thursday that we had already-in-motion, plans for a Thanksgiving dinner party at Richard's place on Saturday.

He would have wanted it done in his absence (he truly did want us to gather once he was gone - to empty the freezer and have one last evening in the place many of us came to know as our social centre), so it was a fitting tribute we shared drinks, good stories, bad jokes, a few tears, and lots of food.

It was a good party - considerably quieter than normal, but not from a sombre mood; it was from a lack of his deep voice taking centre stage, demanding attention, wanting to be heard.

We will miss him, but as he told us, and as one learns as one ages, life must 'go on'...
We remember, we smile, we move forward.

Many of 'The Group' were unable to attend last night.
People have their own lives, several were on vacation.
We will have another party, soon, so they will have a chance to catch up.
It won't be the same, as it won't be at the apartment, but it will be the people that matter - the people in his life, and the memories we have of him.

It will be hard to find another setting where everyone would be so welcome, so appreciated just for randomly dropping by.  This was partly Richard being stuck at home a lot of the time because of the ALS, wanting people around him; but partly it was simply his way - he was a social animal.

He was a good host, and always worried about what to prepare, what to offer, what food or snacks to buy - even when struggling with a budget, and knowing full well that our potlucks inevitably ended with food to spare, he worried about being a good host.

Last night, he was a great host.  We remembered the best things, and occasionally the worst, about him, and raised a few glasses to the simple grey urn with his ashes in it, resting on top of the bar - even in the afterlife, he probably wanted to be near his Scotch...

For the first time, though, the instructions were clear - empty the fridge & freezer, it wasn't needed any more.  Lots of people took lots of food, so much that there won't be any Tupperware in the estate when time comes to clean out the apartment.

That's what he wanted, so that's what we did.

It was a good party; he was the guest of honour, a role he often just plain expected us to give him.  This time, it was true.  It's just too bad he missed it.  He'd have had lots of fun.


  1. Thank you for giving him a fitting goodbye the way he would have wanted. A good friend indeed.

    1. He'd been writing and partying to ease his own mind for years; seeing the gang together without him was tough, but I suspect some of the hangovers the next morning were tougher!