Saturday, November 14, 2009

sudden death

I arrived home from school yesterday afternoon. It was the end of the week. It was time to veg and relax into the weekend. It was then that Moira said we’d received some horrible news… my brain immediately went into a spin… I KNEW someone must have died, but Moira had used the term “horrible” and this gave a sense that the news would be unexpected… my mind continued to spin. It transpired that we’d received word from great mate Si that Graham/Bodge had died the previous day. He was a head teacher. He collapsed at school and died on the premises. Everyone was in a state of shock. He was a lovely, funny, gentle man. He was 48 and left a pregnant wife and two young children. Just terrible. Terrible.
Graham had been a young teacher at our children’s primary school. We’d got to know him well – and, for me, this was especially true during my time as a School Governor (he was also a member of our local parish church). I’ve got very special memories of watching a lot of Euro 96 on Graham’s telly “with the lads” – and especially England’s 4-1 thrashing of Holland. We were “quite happy” as a result. I will always remember that time.
My great buddy Pete and I frequently seem to be exchanging stories on the telephone of mutual friends who had died or had just been diagnosed with some horrible illness – but the difference is that we’re in our sixties!
At school this week we’ve been coping with news that the mother of two pupils in our House had died after “being ill” for just over two weeks (it was discovered she had stomach cancer).
Dealing with such things is sobering in the extreme. They pull you up short. They make me realise just how many blessings I have in my life and just how precious life is. Just how precious family and friends are (I really do count my blessings).
We mustn’t take such things for granted. We must remember to celebrate them… and often.
God bless you Graham/Bodge RIP.
Photo: Graham/Bodge from 1998 (thanks to Si Smith for pic).

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