Friday, 2 January 2009 - 9:16 pm

For the fallen

Sax sang for Simon tonight.  He gathered us all around and said goodbye to him for us, goodbye to a man none of us really knew.  We knew that his name was Simon Richards.  We knew that he struggled with his pain and tried not to let it out.  We knew that he pushed on when we asked him to, up to and often past his limits; he collapsed more than once.  We knew that he knew we wanted to help him.  But we didn’t know who he was.  We didn’t know his face before it was burnt.

Sax sang Amazing Grace for him.  It was beautiful, and sad, and heartbreaking.  It’s my favourite of all the hymns, but I couldn’t join in for the thickness in my throat.  I don’t know how Sax managed to finish it.  I wasn’t the only one crying by the end, and it wouldn’t stop even after we covered Simon’s face up.

I thought about all those who had fallen, about strong Carter and Trevor, and sensible Liz and the kid, and the poor lawyerlady.  I thought about Harry.  They never got words spoken for them, or a song to carry them away.  I’ve said words for them in my heart – does that count?  It doesn’t feel like enough, and I’m not religious enough to take comfort in spirit alone.  But I hope that they know, and I hope that Simon heard us.

Sleep well, my friends.

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