The Fragility of Our Mortality

Blog#182- 12/8/23

By Richard Davis

There are times when we are reminded of how fragile and precious life is. We need these reminders to provide us with a perspective on our lives and our place in the overall scheme of things. You don’t have to be religious to realize that humans pass through the universe in the blinking of an eye. Most of us hope that short time makes a difference somewhere.

I was reminded of all of these things with the passing of my friend Rich Moore. I knew Rich for over 30 years and we worked and played together in Brattleboro and tried to make life better for those around us while we tried to enjoy the gift of life that we were given.

Rich was one of those people who could talk to anyone and instantly make them feel that they were the most important person in the world. When you talked to him you knew that he really cared about you and that he wanted to not only hear your story but also be a part of it if he could. That is a rare quality and Rich Moore embodied that spirit.

When I heard that he was missing in the Colorado woods I first thought that he might find his way out, even realizing that the wilderness there is not the same as the backwoods of New England. Rich was a lifelong hiker and he was in excellent physical condition, so it was not a stretch to believe he got lost and would find his way back.

Rich left a legacy in Brattleboro before his move west a few years ago. He was part of a group of poker players, myself included. When we convened one of our games after he went missing one of the guys in our group told a story of how he had some sort of mysterious encounter with Rich coming out of the woods at Memorial Park. He held out hope that kind of event might play out in Colorado.

But as time passed it became clear that Rich was not coming out of the woods and, although a lack of a body provided a glimmer of hope, we knew the odds of Rich still being alive were slim. And then over two months later they found his body and his dog Finney was still alive protecting him.

A miracle tied to a tragedy.

Rich’s passing was close to home and, when your life is closer to the end than the beginning, you begin to realize that it might be possible that you will be the next one to be mourned. We never know when our time will come. No one escapes death.

Rich has given us a chance to review our lives and to find perspective in the difficult and complex world we live in in 2023. Rich knew how to escape the madness of the world around him by immersing himself in the natural world and exploring new worlds around him. He never stopped learning and he never stopped enriching the lives of people around him.

If we allow ourselves to be reminded of the journey of Rich Moore our lives will be richer and we will have to opportunity to find solace as we too move closer to the end.

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