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Editor’s Words: May 2011

Death. Death isn’t something most people want to dwell upon but when it strikes close to home suddenly all manner of thoughts run through your mind. Questions are asked for which there are no answers. Recriminations suddenly rear their head where there aren’t any and you search your own memory banks to see if there was anything you could have done to prevent the tragedy. The pain of losing someone close is very real and the way of dealing with that pain is very different for all concerned. Some are just too numb to do or even say much at all, where others launch themselves into frenzied activity, keeping busy until that final goodbye.

Please excuse a bit of indulgence on this occasion because earlier this month my colleague and friend, Darrell Hirst, the Advertising Executive for Bent, died. He died from a sudden and massive stroke at the age of only 49 and has left the entire company much worse for the loss of such a loved and hard-working member of the team.
Darrell was a really good guy. He could be relied upon to help out in any way he could. He was never one to sit around and ask someone else to do something he could do for himself and even if you’d just had a disagreement over something, he’d still be the first to volunteer to take you to pick your car up or drive you to the station. He was also happy to be gay. He encouraged everyone to enjoy themselves and be who they wanted to be and not what anyone else thought they should be. He was a keen supporter of Leeds Pride and participated in many aspects that helped make it a success.

Death is an awful thing to have to think about but Darrell had thought about it. Typically, he wanted his organs to be donated – his doctrine being, if you can help somebody – why wouldn’t you? Shortly after they turned off the life support machine his organs were being given to help in two lifesaving operations. Perhaps such generosity of spirit is catching –

Recently he’d attended a couple of funerals himself and absolutely hated what he saw as the lack of celebration… it all seemed so cold and dire and he didn’t want that. Indeed, in a conversation he had with his best friend he said he wanted singing and dancing and his coffin carried by six, hunky, young, bare-chested muscular guys. His friends and colleagues at Bent wanted to carry out that last wish and so… I add this memorable image and wish our friend Goodbye.

Darrell, you’ve only recently gone but you are already badly… and sadly missed.

Darrell Hirst
1962 – 2011


Photo: Grizz