David Eastwood

It’s at this time every year I think about my friend David… I think about him pretty regularly and visit his memorial, shown here, whenever I’m passing; but today is a particular day to remember him. Three years ago today he passed away at the age of 54.

David’s ashes rest in an idyllic spot in the graveyard of St Ives parish church. The surrounding area is ancient. The core of the church has been there for centuries and the original village of Slepe is reputed to have been established at the river crossing nearby. There are gravestones around the church dating back to the 1700s. Surrounded by wildlife and greenery, peals from the beautiful bells of of the parish church wash over David’s stone. See more photos of the spot at the foot of this post.

We spent more than ten years trying to avoid knocking each other unconscious on the squash court every Saturday, followed up by a beer and putting the world to rights. We were next door neighbours and both started our working careers with the same insurance company. We each had a very similar outlook on life and how to live it.

What happened to David had a big effect on me. Family had always been important to me, but it became even more so. If eternity is at all possible for humans I believe it’s through our grandchildren we’ll recognise it… I look at my four grandchildren, who figure prominently on my blog posts, and see one quarter of me in them.

Work and career has become increasingly less important to me. I reduced my working hours to three days a week in 2007, and to two days a week in 2008. I’m ready to fully retire now… just too many things to do still.

Four months after David passed away I had my own health scare. David had been given eighteen months and that forecast was pretty accurate. I was much more fortunate and will be in the clear early next year after three years. It was a pretty rough time for my immediate family… they must have thought that I was going to follow David.

So today I remember David and the fun times we had. If there’s any justice he’ll be getting some coaching on a celestial squash court, ready to hammer me off the court when my time comes.

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