Richard Wright was only 65 — seems awfully young to die. I may not have thought that at one time. Then, a few years ago, my father died, also around the same age.
That’s when I realized how terribly young that is. How everyone dies “too young” because a person can never be “too old” to be worth having alive.
But that’s not all. Something else happened when Dad died. It stripped death of that essential, primal dread. I have a certain ease with the idea of death now. The fact that it is integral to life no longer seems theoretical.
When I was a kid I really liked the Beatles. I cried when John Lennon died. But by the time my favorite Beatle George died (post-Dad) I was more wistful. I’m always more wistful than upset by death now (assuming the person lived some reasonable measure of a “full life” and went in some acceptable way — loved, missed, mourned).
Richard Wright, you died young. You lived a full life. We might all be witness to the ticking away of the moments that make up the dull day, shorter of breath and one day closer to death. But you made songs about it! You were loved. You are mourned. If you still exist, I hope it’s wonderful out there for you and that you get to play that great gig in the sky.
But, still. . . we kind of wish you were here.