Well, yesterday was the funeral of Peter Fuller, colleague and friend who will be sorely missed by all of us who knew him. Very much a larger than life character who brought a genuine spark of life to the office. Definitely the person I made the most effort to keep up to date with when we got reshuffled last year and ended up at the other end of the building with a couple of doors between us. Always keen to help and go out of his way to make sure things went smoothly or you got the information you needed. Whenever the call went out for volunteers to man stalls at events or go out and wave leaflets at people Peter was always there, and had a great affinity with the travelling public, despite coming late to public transport as a way of life. He was very much the life and soul of social events too, and more than once it was his presence that persuaded me to show my face at functions I would otherwised have cried off from. Unfortunately the love of the good life was what undid him in the end, with his liver not being able to take the strain any longer.
We mustered 15 people for the service, which I think was pretty good - although there were a few notable exceptions of people I thought would have been there. Still, Peter's wife and family bore up incredibly well all things considered and were glad to see so many of us. In fact we were even photographed, which was a bit odd but if it makes Moreen happy to have images of us celebrating Peter's life then that's fine by me. Mr Fuller had certainly packed a lot into his 64 years and if someone is able to stand up and say that much about me when my time comes then I reckon I still won't have lived half as full a life.
Thinking about things, this is the first "death in service" I've experienced and hopefully there won't be too many more over the rest of my working life. Former colleagues have passed on after retirement, or after I've moved jobs but I've not been through the trauma of losing someone this way before. Very strange to pass his desk now and know someone else will be filling it soon, and we can't call up for advice like you would someone who has just retired or gone elsewhere.
Here's one for you, Mr Fuller. Be at peace.