Monday, February 12, 2007

Daniel Edward Pitchforth, age 33

My cousin died today. He was only 33, and he hasn't been well for quite a few years, but I had no idea he was so ill. I found out only minutes ago, and the shock is setting in. This is devastating. But it's no way to introduce him to you.

Dan was one of the kindest, loveliest people I've ever known. Out of all the cousins, we were the closest in age, and used to write to one another about life, music, and whatever else was going on. He introduced me to the Stone Roses and the Inspiral Carpets. I last saw him in 1997, and we slid all the way down the hill beneath the giant chalk horse on the hillside at Uffington. Sounds basic, but the hill was a ridiculous incline, and it takes a couple of minutes to slide down after spending half an hour or so climbing up to the horse. We had to boil-wash our jeans to get the grass stains out. When we were 3 and 4, we went to the park near grandma's house in Huddersfield. There were men working on the road, and Daniel put his finger in the hot tar they'd laid down, which of course made him cry. I remember looking at the tar on his finger. The tar had a particular smell that was somehow different from the usual tar-smell; I only ever smell that exact scent every once in a while, and I always think of Dan.

I was thinking of him today, actually, and imagining how great it would be to see him and all the rest of my cousins and family, little realising the sadness unfolding thousands of miles away.

Sorry I missed you, Dan. Love and ham sandwiches, as always. x

6 comments:

Mel said...

Oh Sophie, I'm so sorry. I don't know what to say. How horribly sad :(

You ok?

Nora said...

Sophia, I'm so sorry. x

Gabby said...

Sophie! Alex (senior) here. Have downloaded Bellini - Samba de Janeiro.mp3. Makes my hair stand on end and my eyes well up. Let's just focus on the good and great things such as that! If anything, it proves that we should live for the moment as life is not a dress re-hearsal ( if Jo is reading- I bet I spelt that wrong and she's heard me say that a million times!) but hey, we did that on the spur of a moment! ( I remember the stubble wheat field!) Just go for it! Lovely to hear from you. All the very best to you and yours. Alex

Anonymous said...

hey sophie i stumbled across your page on here while doing a search on dan, i'm not quite sure what to say to you on here other than my thoughts are with you and his entire family.
i met dan about 13 years ago and we became really good friends, he had a wicked sense of humour and his neurotic sense of cleanliness used to drive us all round the bend! i have some amazing memories of him.
unfortunately i lost touch with him a few years ago and had always hoped to one day catch up with him again, i had no idea it would be like this though.
anyways, i just wanted to acknowledge him on here after reading your piece. take care.
manda xx

Diane said...

my condolences to you and your family...always treasure your memories of Dan. take care

Anonymous said...

I stumbled across your blog when doing a search for Dan as well. I just heard about his passing yesterday and I was stunned and so sad. I met Dan about seven years ago. He and I used to work together and we were good friends. He made being at work fun and we had lots of laughs. We lost touch after he moved back with his parents. We had a silly argument. When I look back it seems like he was trying to push people away. I can see now it was the illness and the devastating effects it was having on his health and his relationships. He was one of the nicest, talented, funniest people I have ever met and I wish I hadn’t let a silly argument stop me from getting in touch with him again. His passing has taught me a lesson. Sometimes, you don't have forever to make things right with someone you care about so, don't wait until it is too late. I send my condolences to you and all of Dan's family.