I wasn’t a close friend of TR Richie‘s. But we ran in the some of the same circles. And we shared some powerful times with our Coho/Calvin’s friends, especially through Michael and Kendra.
I’ve been following TR’s final journey with some interest, as cancer has been taking its toll.
Some friends may have seen the incredibly life-affirming posts he’s made on Facebook, even in the midst of what seemed like the end.
An end which came today.
The office here is always a bustling place. Folks to meet with. Things to do. Never enough time.
So when a package arrived in the mail over the weekend from my friend April, I let it sit around for several days. Figured I’d get to it soon enough.
I finally opened it today. It’s a book of TR’s drawings and poems, called “Works on Paper: Poems and Illustrations.”
So, I opened it up a while ago, read the inscription, turned back to the computer to thank April, just in time to read the news of his passing.
How eerie. How perfect.
How much of this is so often beyond comprehension.
Such a strange, beautiful, eerie moment.
Here’s the inscription page TR wrote, just two weeks ago:
Yes, my friend. Indeed it is.
So, I’ve just spent the last hour, leafing through the book, allowing his poetry and illustrations to speak. Here’s one that leaped off the page, and seems to appropriate for this moment.
so it turns out
the simplest things
are the holiest
ask any dying friend
work of the hands
every day we engage
in sacrament without
fanfare or ceremony
and in the end it is not
we find ourselves craving
but humble rites
which keep us
close to the ground
close to the moment
close to each other
let us honor the dying
by our earnest and
to ordinary grace
— TR Richie.