I hope the stars are treating you well, angel

On the 24th of December 2016, BBC News broke the announcement that Status Quo guitarist Rick Parfitt had died earlier in the afternoon, aged 68.

I felt like my world had stopped turning; screeching to a jolted, devastating halt without warning. Status Quo are, as I'm sure won't need mentioning but nevertheless, the band who I have seen play Live over 25 times; the band who I've turned to in some slightly difficult times. Their music requires no thought, no analysis; all you have to do is enjoy it. For the past 7 years I have been to see them in many different cities and even a different country, which I never thought I'd be able to do. I have them to thank for me plucking up the courage to step out of my comfort zone and travel, to live a little.

 I've made lifelong friends through the band and we were brought closer by this terrible blow. It's inspiring to read and learn how much of an influence he had over so many people. I can only hope beyond hope that he knew that. That he knew how loved he was, and how he brought forth a brand new generation of guitarists; he's unleashed a powerful throng of rockers who will, thankfully, continue his unstoppable legacy.

 There's no news RE: Status Quo continuing with their scheduled tour dates, but as far as I'm concerned, as they say, "No news is good news". He hadn't played with them since around May, due to ill health and later a decision to not return to the band at all, but still you have to wonder whether they would call it a day for good. However, I feel like Rick would want them to carry on, so I personally hope they are able to do that.

 On the eve of Boxing Day, I took to my Tumblr and spilled my thoughts & feelings into a text post, hoping it would remedy my hurt. It did help, immensely.

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This is the third consecutive night that I’ve cried in the shower. I keep hoping that I’ll suddenly wake up and it’ll still be 3:21pm on Christmas Eve; I’ll still be in my room getting changed and this will all have been some sort of horrific nightmare conjured up by the Grinch to ruin my festivities. 

In the midst of all the sorrow and the anger, I do admittedly feel somewhat foolish because, for Pete’s sake, I didn’t even know the man.

However my heart only marginally overrules my head still; I know deep down that I shouldn’t think like that because he made me feel like I did know him. He made me feel like I was the only person in the room on many an occasion; I felt like he’d genuinely missed me when time and time again he visibly lit up upon seeing me down on the front row, grinning like the Cheshire Cat and jumping around. He made me feel like he’d been waiting to tell me that he hated his hair growing so fast because he “couldn’t do f#ck all with it”; like he’d been waiting for me to go and see the band again so he could sing his favourite lines to me; like he deliberately went through a whole gig without so much as a nod in my direction before knowingly winking at me right at the end, letting me know that he’d seen me all along. I’m only human and I know that these feelings are only natural when you lose someone close. In addition, I’m fully aware that you don’t have to know someone to feel close to them.

You don’t have to know someone personally in order for them to mean something to you. I don’t know J.K. Rowling personally, yet her writing has left a mark on my childhood which will never fully fade. I’ll never be lucky enough to know Darcey Bussell, but her work inspired me to carry on dancing when I was doubting my own talents & abilities.

I hope he knew how far he helped me get in gaining self confidence and self belief. By picking me out of tens-of-thousands of faces and letting me know that he knew who I was; by showing so shamelessly that he was pleased to see me, he made me realise that I can be more than just a face in the crowd. We formed a bond over the years that I will cherish and treasure forever. My Mum has witnessed the connection that she claims we had, telling me that she thinks I’m “one of his favourite little people”. I’ll keep that with me. I’ll lock it away with the rest of my memories.

Maybe soon I’ll be able to be alone without my thoughts constantly, incessantly reminding me that I’ll never see him again in this lifetime. Soon I’ll be able to visit the bathroom without trying to block out my own mind; without needing to try and numb the ringing in my ears.

I just want it all to go away. I know that it eventually will. Not entirely, but most of the pain will whither away. I know that eventually I’ll be okay again.

I won’t say “rest in peace”, because that means goodbye. That means it’s over and I can’t accept that yet.

Goodnight for now, Rick. Don’t have too much fun without me and don’t rock too hard. Sleep tight; don’t let the bed bugs bite. Thank you for everything. I love you.
x 

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 I feel much better now. I still can't quite say "rest in peace"; I don't think I'll ever be able to say that. Like I said there, that means it's over, and it's still a little too raw to accept it just yet. But I'm able to reflect a lot more clearly upon the good memories and the fun times.

 I'm glad that I'm at that stage; it's comforting now to look back and remember all the times he and the band helped me forget the world even existed for a few seconds. I have them to thank for a lot of things.

Thank you again, Rick. Thank you, Quo. So much.
x

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