Saturday, April 14 2012 @ 11:55 AM EDT
Contributed by: davidh
I just got the call that Richard passed away during the night. It was peaceful, quiet and the family were present.
When I checked in yesterday his son said Richard had just opened his eyes and maybe some lucid moments were coming. I rushed over but he was still sleeping, well under the influence of the peace-giving drugs. I stroked his hand and again told him all the mods and supporters loved him and wished him a fine journey.
The family got into discussions about his life and surprisingly a son and his last surviving brother both stated that birds were his greatest love. Certainly our many journeys over more than thirty years focused on birds and how to make people more aware of their habitat needs. Here was his devoted and loving family saying that our private times were also a highlight to Richard -- quite wonderful.
Just before he was moved to the hospice last week he insisted upon my arrival, that we do an interview on his new camera. He organized the hospital room, where we could sit and how the camera should be placed. We started an interview that must have been tiring for his emaciated body but he insisted. He was having a ball - he was producing another video, another broadcast program. The joy was apparent to all. After the first hour of discussion the battery failed. The sister-in-law went home to get us another -- a two hour wait. During that time Richard pulled out the laptop, went into the White Rock nest program to try and find out why the cams were not broadcasting through WildEarth. After an hour he called Ken to try and resolve it. Then the new battery arrived and we continued reminiscences of our time shared with David Ingram, our mutual friend who died last year, and how the cams had worked but he also referred to the disappointments. We shared the lament that neither of us was a fundraiser as our big ambition had been to develop the Production Facilities to support the Education Facilities where teachers, editors and techies could assemble a more impactful message for the schools of North America - and the people of the world.
Last Thursday, the day of interviews, was really the last time I saw him meaningfully focus on the world -- our mutual world. The pain necessitated the heavy drugs and the long sleep.
Richard, you brought us all so much and most viewers don't even know of your commitment. Of course, the mods and the keeners know it well.
As some of you recall, Richard orchestrated his own good-bye party in February -- and over a hundred people who touched his life came to rejoice that life -- and say good-bye. If the family plans something else we will let you know.
Thank you, Richard, for so enriching my life -- and that of many others.
Love, your friend and admirer,