today we attended my Uncle's funeral, it went as well as these things can go, we gave him a good send off as they say.
My darling Blaise bravely delivered a few words
"I didn’t know my Uncle very well. Like most people i’ve met, his life before it intersected with mine never really came up in conversation, we had little comfortable conversations about stories and poetry. I said i’d come up and help with the shop when I got some time, but things got in the way and we remained comfortable strangers. It’s hard, because although I didn’t speak to my uncle very much, his impact upon my life has been huge. It was a quiet influence with a box of books that he brought down for christmas each year. My sisters and I waited for it all year, and even though there were three of us, and then five, with five years between the youngest and eldest, that box was always strangely perfect. I looked forward to it all year, the build up to christmas for me wasn’t trying to find the wrapped presents in wardrobes or hot water cupboards, it was trying to guess what Uncle Richard would bring next. What book would he pull from the box this year and say “I think you’ll really like this one”.
The amount of love and attention that goes into creating a package of books that will grow with you was lost on me until recently. I never thought about how he could’ve put them together so perfectly, how much time goes into catering to that many kids, but every year he opened my eyes a little wider, made me see a little clearer, and gave me my own little world to escape into when the troubles which come with growing up were too much. He’s in every one of those books, now. Everytime I spend a day in bed, reading, every splintered poem by E.E. Cummings, everytime Robyn Hide makes me cry he’s still there saying “I knew you’d like it”. My love of words, my need to create those paper universes, come from his care of the worlds he shared. And I wish i’d said it before, I wish i’d seen the impact he’d had and let him know that I couldn’t have been me without him. He left his mark on me, he taught me that love doesn’t need a life story to be born, sometimes it’s quiet like a grateful smile, or the turning of a page"