We didn’t all make it. Some did get left behind, and it wasn’t even a war, just life.”
I remember well the occasion. Listening to words spoken from a pulpit, one friend speaking on behalf of many, remembering a boy who grew into a damaged man.
Remembering a smiling face and a sweet voice, remembering a boy who could play a guitar so well that he had realistic ambitions of making his living as a professional musician.
We all thought we knew him but I guess we really didn’t. We were a gang, a bunch of good kids trying to be rebels. We ran together, hung together, occasionally got stoned together. We were school friends first and later we became like a band of brothers.
We all had similar tastes, all enjoyed the same bands, hung out at the same pubs and did the same things and then one by one we were swallowed. Some by love, a pretty girl became more alluring than hanging with the lads. Others by emigration, so many leaving and not coming back. Gone to Liverpool, London, New York, Sydney. I had more friends scattered across the globe than I had at home.
It seemed everyone came back for Christmas though and so once a year we would gather, the old crew but even then our number was less, a poison had infected our band of brothers, young men finding life too painful, too hard. Men who chose various roots by which to check out. Tommy gone to a car wreck, John gone to an overdose, and then Keith, the hardest to believe. A man who had it all throwing himself from a cliff onto the rocks and the killing tide. Good looking, talented, popular. There is no understanding, no knowing. Only goodbyes, only tears.
We didn’t all make it. Life was to hard for the best of us. Only the good die young
Remembering lost friends
© Dave Kavanagh @ daithiocaomanaigh.com