They carried him in wearing red and black.
Women bore him in, men took him out.
In between times, Andrew James Llewellyn Bishop (16/12/77 – 22/2/2011) wore red and black too – his coffin painted Crusader colours, unlike his fence at home. I warned his partner, Amber, she should not expect her fence to remain the colour of the Auckland Blues. (There’s a middle of the night project for Baz and the Greek!)
Bish – 33. Lovely partner, three kids between them. A service that talked about Holdens and wrestling and bourbon and laughing and love, love, love. Funny photos and all the old faces – Bish has been working with the various CTVs since 1993, the same year my first son was born. Talented, passionate, inventive, fun – red and black running through his veins. One of us all the way.
There’s a #newnormal dress code for funerals. It’s not black anymore, it’s the colour that would have best been enjoyed by the person. Bish’s crowd today turned out in red and black to match the Crusaders he so loved. I wore the black suit I had on for my CCHL meeting this morning, but underneath it a hot pink t-shirt with “In Your Dreams” on it in pink sparkles. He would have loved that. His mum Karen did – I showed it to her before she spoke and she laughed and laughed, that brave woman).Red and black balloons, written tributes from little children, banter from Baz and the Greek, hard rock music and just such a damned shame, such a rotten unfair shitty robbing of a good man who had so much to offer. It’s cruel.
Afterwards I picked up my phone messages. Among then, a call from a local paper. “We’ve been emailed a rumour – have you abused your authority and commandeered portaloos for you and a dozen of your closest friends?”
I saw red and black. I delicately and in a perfectly ladylike fashion (mostly) explained what an outright pack of lies that was. I used plain and simple English which Andrew James Llewellyn Bishop would have applauded. Most of the words I used were short enough for even the simpleton who concocted that particular piece of drivel to understand. I don’t think CTV journalist Sam Gibb, who’s next on the funeral circuit tomorrow, would have contemplated asking me that.
I have invited the particular newspaper to publish and be thoroughly sued. I really, really, really hope they do. After I’ve finished taking them to the cleaners, all the proceeds can go straight to the families of the people we’ve been burying. They will need our help and support and they will deserve our time and energy and attention.
I cannot begin to (don’t want to) comprehend the mentality of toxic people who have such spite in their hearts and such time on their hands that they have nothing better to do than spread poison rather than sow seeds of hope. Let’s hope they find Christchurch too hard really soon. Our lovely city will be so much better off without them.
So just in case you do ever do what I suggested, dear journalist, and read this blog, I hope you feel mightily pleased to know that then I had a bloody good howl at the rotten unfairness of it all. Of the loss of a good man, at the fact there’s a poison-pen on the planet who isn’t worth a penny of him. It’s not that only the good die young – it’s that you only notice when they go.
Have to say though, after a bit of a melt down, the bourbon and coke (here’s to you Bish, who knew the truth when you saw it) tasted as good as it ever will. I can’t stand the stuff usually, but Bish I drank it for you. I knew you liked it.