It’s been a year to the day since I heard the news that one of my closest friends, Dave Jennings, had passed away suddenly.
It happened the day before he was due to play the role of the dentist in Little Shop of Horrors, so working with the same theatre group on Moby Dick this year brought back a lot of the memories from twelve months ago. Indeed, a page in this year’s programme was dedicated to him, appended with a quote from Terry Pratchett about death. It was rather cruelly ironic that Pratchett himself passed away last week as well.
Whilst I’ve lost friends and family before, Dave’s death affected more than any other. Part of it was its sudden nature; he hadn’t been ill, or been recently rushed to hospital. He was alive and well, then, a few minutes later, he wasn’t. The shock of it meant neither myself, Christine, nor our many mutual friends had any time to prepare for it emotionally like you do when someone is ill before they die.
But also, Dave was someone that I saw at least once every week. There are so many things that I used to do on almost daily basis suddenly had to be done without him. So his passing affected not just me, but many others who knew Dave so well.
Tonight, some of us will be having a few drinks to remember Dave, like we have on several occasions over the past twelve months. Because, for someone like Dave, one memorial just isn’t enough. I still miss him so much.