The Revd. Norman David Bird 27.3.32 – 27.2.18

Regular readers will have noticed the gradual tailing off of

my lunches with my old friend, Norman. It was not really that long ago that I visited fortnightly and enjoyed his adventurous cooking accompanied by my bottle of wine.

We first found friendship in the early 1970s, and were strong confidants ever since. When Jackie and I were £15,000 short of the purchase price of our house, Norman offered to lend it free of interest.

For the last three years Norman’s multiple ailments had made him increasingly frail. He spent two of his last months in hospital before being transferred three weeks ago to a care home where he died last night.

His death, although bringing a tear to my eye, and a lump in my throat, is not to be mourned. Life had become extremely painful for him and his faith had made him ready for the next life. He and his many friends are predominantly relieved.

A keen paddle steamer enthusiast, Norman gathered together all these friends on both his 70th and his 80th birthdays, and took us on a trip down the Thames.

Norman 6.4.02

Cheers, Norman.

118 comments

  1. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend, who sounds like such a caring, generous, and joyful man. I’m happy though that he is no longer suffering. It sounds like you were fortunate to have such a friend–and he to have you.

  2. Even though I didn’t know him, after reading your post, I, too, had a tear in my eye and a lump in my throat. Such a good friend! Cheers, indeed!

      1. I surely can! I have lost dear friends over the years, and I still feel the loss.

  3. I am so sorry to read this. You are right though to be glad that he is no longer suffering and is instead released to the next life free from worldly pain and woe. Go softly all of you who loved him. ⚘

  4. My condolences, Derrick. Norman sounds like a charming and generous man and I’m sure you will miss him. A life well lived and a friendship to treasure.

  5. I’m sure you’ll miss such a wonderful friend, Derrick, so my condolences to you – though, as you say, his passing is more of a relief to you all. It’s hard to see someone we know and love in constant pain. I remember reading your post about the last ferry trip on his birthday not so long ago. Your post is a lovely tribute to him.

  6. I had noticed Derrick and I am most sorry to hear of the loss of your good friend. However a long and deep friendship never really dies and it seems to me that Norman will live on in many hearts for a very long time. xoxo

  7. Oh, Derrick, I am so sorry for the loss of your dear friend. I can not imagine a nicer tribute than the words and pictures you have shared. Hugs to you and his family. <3

  8. I am so sorry your friend has died. It is a comfort I am sure, to know he is out of pain and that his faith had helped him during all his struggles. My thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

  9. A very sad loss and a lovely tribute to him Derrick. I hold very fond memories of Norman who was my first supervisor, during Daphne’s illness. I heard from Tom who had visited him in hospital and realised the time was near and Norman was ready. Peace be with him.
    Jan L

  10. It may be less painful for Norman, but this still must hurt you, Derrick. So sorry for your loss.
    The two Thames birthday parties, I believe I had the joy of being able to see your photos!
    Cheers to friendship and everlasting memories! 🥂 💕

    1. We do, msw. Thank you very much. It will mean something to you that when in Social Services, Norman became my Deputy until we both abandoned ship, Norman for the priesthood, a few months after I left for a freelance life.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: