My affable and trusted friend David Spedding took his own life on September 23rd. I only found out at about 7.30pm yesterday evening after a mutual acquaintance, having agreed with various members of #aber that his recent absence from any of his usual online haunts what somewhat unusual, called his parents and was told the terrible and frankly shocking news. Citing “financial difficulties”, his father reported that he took an overdose of prescription drugs.
I simply cannot believe it.
David, known affectionately amongst his friends as “Parp”, made me laugh every single day, to the extent that I keep a soft cloth handy to wipe down the phone or the computer monitor after I’ve spluttered over it resulting from abrupt and violent laughter. David was a TV journalist, and commissioned me to arrange his work on a website, the future of which is currently uncertain.
By sheer luck the fact that we contacted his parents last night meant that we did not miss the funeral, which was today. Up until that point, no-one of his friends had been in touch, and his parents had no idea about how to go about contacting us. Had we left it another day, we would have missed it.
So after learning of this yesterday evening, I was up at 5.30am and I was down in Salisbury this morning, along with three further representatives from #aber plus a mutual friend. We chose not to attend the Wake, as the family don’t have the first clue as to who we were. Instead we chose to have a quiet lunch in a local pub, over which we shared memories, laughter and respect.
Amongst David’s many qualities was his finely tuned perception of people. He knew who were idiots, and he wasn’t afraid to tell them. He also knew who was genuine, and forged close friendships with them. He never suffered fools gladly, something for which he received a lot of grief, usually from, unsurprisingly, fools who considered themselves in a position to judge the integrity and honesty of another when they had no such qualities themselves.
I really hope you are in a happier place now David. I shall miss you terribly, things simply won’t be the same without you.