I was walking through Target, minding my own business and noting that they had changed the organization of the store. AGAIN. Thinking to myself that they seem to do that more often than necessary and wondering if perhaps the manager just enjoys confusing his patrons.
I passed by where the books used to be – now it’s laundry hampers and other household items. I was wondering where the heck books would be as I was nearly done with my loop around the premises. I felt like a browse through the books; I hoped they were still there.
As I came to turn to the front of the store I saw they had displayed them all across the front wall. Smack dab in the middle of my sight line was a book that made me do a double take.
Rich, I thought.
That man looks like Rich.
So I walked over to this book and picked it up without thinking. The book is called “Bra Boy” and is about an MMA fighter:
I thought that was interesting that I would happen to gravitate towards a book about an MMA fighter, as at the same time I had a podcast playing through my earphones that was Alexander Gustafsson – a Swedish MMA fighter – telling some of his story.
But I put the book back down, thinking I shouldn’t buy a book just because the man on the cover reminded me of Rich.
I started to walk away, reconsidered, and looked back. This time I realized the man even shared a first name with him. Well, Richie VS Rich… close enough.
I reconsidered that maybe it was a sign, and maybe I should read it anyway. Maybe it would be a good read as I am trying to start learning more about MMA fighters in general.
So I bought the book. I took it home.
And now I’m thinking how long it has been since Rich died. He and I were friends… friendly co-workers more like. We enjoyed working together and enjoyed sharing a shift…. But years later his memory still lingers on for me.
I can only imagine what it must be like for his family and closer friends on a day to day basis.
It’s been a little over four years now, and yet, Rich’s memory lingers on for me still. I still periodically have memory prompts that brings him to the foreground of my mind. I suppose I will never forget him, even though we might have only otherwise been friends in passing.
Suicide is a wicked bitch.
R U OK? Day has just passed again here in Australia… Just another reminder that everyone needs to be asked once in awhile if they are in fact okay. A reminder to check up on your friends, veteran or no. So many campaigns around to bring awareness about suicide, even so… it seems to affect almost everyone at some point.
Currently there is a 22-a-day campaign going around FB where people are tagged to do 22 push ups for the 22 a day. Go ahead and do your push ups… bring awareness… I honestly have nothing bad to say about this… it’s just… it won’t bring Rich back. It won’t stop any of those veterans that are thinking on committing suicide today.
What might stop it is recognising some signs, and asking them if they are okay. Sitting with them, holding them… Not necessarily speaking …. Just being there for them. Letting them know you understand – or maybe that you don’t understand, but that you love them and want to be there without pushing them or being judgmental.
And, of course, helping/encouraging them to call the various crisis helplines and calling emergency services as necessary. In a crisis, whether they’ve yet taken the action yet or not, it is ALWAYS appropriate to call emergency services.