Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In Memoriam: Razz

Chris, whom we knew as Razz, was utterly charming. Many of you have posted very movingly of how he touched you and how much he meant to you. Many of you were closer to him than I was, and I am grateful that is was my blog with its post asking about Razz that Steven found when he wanted to deliver the sad news to us. From the time I found Chris's blog, I admired his big-heartedness and looked forward to reading his posts. I hope the blog will be left up so that readers can continue to come and be inspired by this loving and courageous man. But I thought he had a curious sense of privacy. Some of the posts which gave the clearest insight into the caring side of his personality got taken down, while those that showed the more fun-loving side were left up. My three strongest memories are no longer there.

First was the account of taking Jay out for coffee. After the breakup with Dave, Chris was reluctant to enter into another relationship, and Jay was really sad because of it. Chris suggested they go for coffee or something of the sort, and at one point he said to Jay something like, "So how are you enjoying our first date?" Needless to say, Jay was ecstatic.

Then there was the day Ste and Cate arrived, unannounced, at the university in America, and Chris arrived to find them waiting at his door. His absolute and simple joy at their visit shone through his post about it. [Correction: Ste arrived alone, and the housemates let him in. Thanks to Aek and torchy! for a copy of the post that tells of it.]

And above all there was the story of how his friendship with Ste began. They were very young schoolboys who got into a fight. Chris wanted to apologize and followed Ste home, but Ste was having none of it. So he sat on the sidewalk outside Ste's all afternoon until suppertime, when Ste's mum sent him out to invite Chris in for dinner. And they made up and became friends for ever. [Corrections: The day of the fight, Ste's mum finally gave Chris a ride home. Chris continued to sit outside Ste's home for four more days until Ste's mother had Ste invite him in for dinner. Also from the post Aek and torchy! supplied. All the more impressive.]

I believe the scripture which says, "God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him." (1 John 4:16) It is clear that Chris lived in the love of his wonderful family and friends and that in turn he gave much love to them. Surely it was the love he experienced in his family that taught him to introduce himself at the age of six to people on Brighton Beach, to reach out in love to ask Ste's forgiveness, and to form such deep friendships throughout his life — or as it says in his post "My life has been perfect"
like no one's watching you
like no one can hear you
like you've never been hurt before
like it's heaven here on earth.

I also believe in a life beyond our earthly existence; and the love in which Chris lived here gives me much hope that he will now enjoy a life where there is no pain or illness, where love and joy endure for ever, and where all who love him can be with him at last.

My heartfelt condolences go out to his loving family, to Steven, and to all his friends, new and old. May his memory be a joy and may faith and hope ease the sorrow of your loss.

1 comment:

Mr McCabbage said...

SAD STEPS - by Philip Larkin

Groping back to bed after a piss
I part thick curtains, and am startled by
The rapid clouds, the moon's cleanliness.

Four o'clock: wedge-shadowed gardens lie
Under a cavernous, a wind-picked sky.
There's something laughable about this,

The way the moon dashes through clouds that blow
Loosely as cannon-smoke to stand apart
(Stone-coloured light sharpening the roofs below)

High and preposterous and separate -
Lozenge of love! Medallion of art!
O wolves of memory! Immensements! No,

One shivers slightly, looking up there.
The hardness and the brightness and the plain
Far-reaching singleness of that wide stare

Is a reminder of the strength and pain
Of being young; that it can't come again,
But is for others undiminished somewhere.