Saturday, 27 January 2018

For Whom the Bell Tolls





On Tuesday this week, the death was announced of Richard Woollacott. He was forty years old.

The Racing world went into shock. The last time most people who love racing had seen him was in the euphoric post-race interview after his game, bonny horse Beer Goggles had beaten all the big boys at Newbury. Nobody really saw Beer Goggles coming. He had come up through the handicapping ranks and he was sent off at 40-1. Beer Goggles did not know he was the outsider in a strong field. All he knew was that he felt powerful and confident and full of beans and he was damn well not going to be beaten. He stuck his head out all the way to the line. And his trainer, who had brought him so far, beamed his giddy, infectious smile out of a million television sets.
               
And now that smile would never been seen again.
                
The internet had one of its rare moments of good behaviour. The grieving family had asked for privacy, and the massed ranks of social media gave them privacy. There was no speculation. Instead, the tributes poured in, from people who had known him for years, since his pointing days, to people who had only watched him on the telly. ‘I will remember him for always having a big smile on his face,’ said Richard Johnson, the champion jockey who had ridden Beer Goggles to glory.
                
Then, Richard Woollacott’s wife Kayley put out a statement of heartbreaking elegance. Mental illness had got him. She said, with a generosity and grace that left me in awe, that it was too late for her beloved husband but it was not too late for others. Three days after she lost the father of her children, she was raising awareness about suicide, about the brutal ruthlessness of mental illness, and starting a fund in Richard Woollacott’s memory. Not only that, but she wrote of him with such lyricism and love, talking of all his talents, of all his shining lights, but not ignoring the darkness that took him in the end. It takes a very rare human to be able to do that.
                
Any death is a shock. In fact, it’s shocking how shocking death is, when it is the one fact of life that all humans know. But there is something peculiarly shocking about a suicide. From the outside, it can be hard to understand. I went to funeral of a cousin who killed himself and I remember the stretched, pale faces of incomprehension. Why did this happen? How did this happen? What could we have, should we have done? I remember searing guilt mingling with the grief. If I had only rung him one more time, got him round, really sat down and talked.
                
I think when people are that far into the dark, no light can penetrate. That’s what is so terrifying about mental illness. It is indiscriminating and it is relentless and it does not give a damn for the human heart. It is a wrecker, and it will smash anything in its way. It seems almost impossible that the brilliant, smiling man who had triumphed on that happy day at Newbury now no longer exists. And what he did was indeed brilliant. Beer Goggles did not start out as a star. Richard Woollacott turned him into one. He did that. He built that horse up and gave him strength and confidence and kept him sweet and kept him right so that by the time Beer Goggles faced his biggest test, he knew he could fly. Will he wonder, as he goes out today at Cheltenham in front of a crowd united in grief, where that human is, the one who made him believe in himself?
                
The crowd will be united. It will come together because racing does come together in times like this, as if it were a big family. Everybody knows each other and everybody sees each other every week, come rain come shine, come triumph come tragedy. Everybody knows how glorious it is and how tough it is. Everybody gets up at five in the morning and everybody cannot sleep until they’ve done one last yard check to make sure those equine athletes are dozing peacefully in their boxes.
                
The crowd, and the people watching at home, will unite to mourn a very special man, by all accounts generous and kind, a horseman and a gentleman. Everybody loved him. But they will also unite because the shadow of this illness has passed over almost everyone. It’s a brother or a mother, a friend of a friend, crazy old Uncle Bernie whom everyone laughed at until the laughter abruptly stopped. Mental illness thrives in the shadows. It feeds off shame. It is mystifying and people are often afraid to speak of it. What, after all, do you say? The incredible Woollacott family have taken the darkness and shone some light into it. They have asked that this race day be not only about their own wrenching loss, but about everyone who is struggling against this most pernicious of foes. That is an act of courage for which I have no words.
                
John Donne had the words. He wrote, many, many years ago:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
Each man's death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.


Nobody needs to ask today for whom the bells toll. They toll for everyone. But should the bright, bonny Beer Goggles roar up that Cheltenham hill and shrug off his challengers and race to the line, the bells will ring out in heartfelt, bittersweet glory and gladness. 

32 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. My names are Robert Jason want to testify about this great love spell caster that helped me bring back my ex wife. My ex wife and i where having a misunderstanding which led to our breakup though i went to beg her several times to please forgive and accept me back because i know i offended her but each time i went i always feel more deeply in pain and agony because she always walk out on me and would not want to listen to what i have to tell and i felt so empty inside me, my loneliness became worst, until this faithful day i was browsing through the internet i saw a testimony on the internet testifying of Dr Raypower good work, i contacted him which he assured me within 48 hours for an instant result. Just same 48 hours as he promised my wife now came back home begging for forgiveness to love and cherish her and the kids forever, am so happy and thankful to Dr Raypower,,, My wife is madly in love with me again. If there is any body Out there who is in Difficulties and need help should kindly Contact Dr. Raypower below

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    2. Hello my name is Kallya from USA i want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Ade my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Ade have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my problem he told me he shall return back to me within 24hrs i did everything he asked me to do the nest day to my greatest surprise my husband came back home and was crying and begging for me to forgive and accept him back he can also help you contact
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      Hello my name is Kallya from USA i want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Ade my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Ade have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my problem he told me he shall return back to me within 24hrs i did everything he asked me to do the nest day to my greatest surprise my husband came back home and was crying and begging for me to forgive and accept him back he can also help you contact
      ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

      https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com

      Blog: https://ancientspirit1.blogspot.com

      Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

      WhatsApp +2347059715465






      Hello my name is Kallya from USA i want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Ade my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Ade have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my problem he told me he shall return back to me within 24hrs i did everything he asked me to do the nest day to my greatest surprise my husband came back home and was crying and begging for me to forgive and accept him back he can also help you contact
      ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

      https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com

      Blog: https://ancientspirit1.blogspot.com

      Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

      WhatsApp +2347059715465

      Delete
  2. Mental health knows no bounds and for this January it has been particularly fierce. For 3 weeks I have been fighting against the dark grey sucking cloud that leaves you devoid of hope, happiness or a future...it literally sucks your very being out of you. So Richard sought the only way out he could think of. For the family left behind please don't blame yourselves or think what else could I have done. Just know he did love you with all his heart....its just that he did not love himself enough. Hopefully mine is now moving off, I feel alive again and begining to Love myself again....but I know all to well it could be back and it could visit anyone at any time..... time to talk xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jan, please take care of yourself. As much as we are strangers to each other, your comment moved me. We lost someone to suicide two months ago, and it still feels like the world is never going to be the same (and I believe it will never be). I wish he knew how much his family loved him and how everyone just wanted to be there for him if he had just sent one message, or just said the word "help". Now, I just want anyone that feels like he was to know that there is always at least one person that loves you so much, and that there will always be a hand somewhere willing to lift you up. I hope you find the strength to overcome your pain and I am sending you a lot of love xxxx

      Delete
    2. My name is ethan micheal ,am from USA.i want to share my wonderful testimony on how i got back my husband back, who i sworn ever to be with until when he left me to another woman for no reason and i try to make things work for both of us yet things where getting worse and i love him so much and there is nothing i could do to get my husband back until i met a testimony share by a woman called Stella tea from Australia on the internet talking about a powerful spell caster who brought her husband back within 24hours and i decide to give it a try and to my greatest surprise he also did it for me just as he did for Stella and i have a lot of people complaining of fake spell caster but this one i met was a real spell caster who help me to solve my problem i have no solution to,i introduce many of my best friends that have a similar problems,and their problem were solve with the great help of PRIEST WISDOM .who help them to get back their lovers within 24 hours.i am so happy that my husband is back to me again,and the most surprising thing is that our love is very strong,every day is happiness and joy. and there is nothing like been with the man you love.i am so happy my love is back to me with the help of PRIEST WISDOM if you have similar problem i will advice you to contact him ,he is there to help you and put a smile on your face as he did to me and others.contact email supernaturalspell@yahoo.COM or supernaturalspell1@gmail.com you can call /whatsapp him through is mobile number +2348124644470

      https://supernaturalspell1.blogspot.com/

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      Delete
  3. Depression is hard, sometimes too hard, to live with. I hope that eventually (soon!) there will be medical breakthroughs that will help. So little is actually known about the brain and its workings. There is so much to learn.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've just read this again, now there is nobody sitting next to me to laugh at me crying. That somebody who went completely off the rails, was sectioned, escaped, lived on the streets. Apparently depression and suicide are "common" among young Irish men. He was young then. What can we do? Our story is a happy one. He can sit next to me and watch the racing and laugh at me if I cry. Thank you, whoever sorted that out for us.

    ReplyDelete
  5. شركة امست للتنظيف افضل شركة لتنظيف المنازل والشقق والفللوالبيوت والمجالس والكنب والمفروشات والخزانات بالقطيف والمنطقة الشرقية لديها عمالة مدربة وخصومات هائلة طما توفر خدمات مكافحة الحشرات ورش المبيدات بالقطيف باسعار رخيصة ومناسبة وخصومات هائلة

    شركة امست للتنظيف
    امست للنظافة القطيف
    شركة امست لمكافحة الحشرات
    شركة امست لرش المبيدات

    ReplyDelete
  6. افضل شركة تنظيف بالقطيف تقدم خدمات نظافة متكاملة علي اعلي مستوي بدقة وجودة ومواصفات قياسية واسعار تنافسية فتعد الشركة الاولي بالقطيف لتقديم خدماتالتنظيف بجودة وسعر مثالييينفهي خير مثال لراغبي الحصول علي نظافة شاملة مع التعقيم وباسعار مناسبة

    شركة تنظيف بالقطيف
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    ReplyDelete
  7. هل تعانون من الحشرات وكثرتها واضرارها البالغة نقدم لكم افضل شركة لابادة جميع انواع الحشرات بالضمان وهي شركة المثالية لمكافحة الحشرات حيث تقدم اليوم افضل العروض والخدمات بارخص الاسعار بخصم 50% لفترة محدودة

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    شركة المثالية لمكافحة الحشرات بجدة

    ReplyDelete
  8. شركة المثالية للتنظيف افضل شركة تنظيف بالمنطقة الشرقية تخصصت في تقديم كافة الاعمال المنزية من نظافة ومكافحة حشرات بالمنطقة فلديها افضل الخدماتبافضل جودة واوبارخص الاسعار التي لا تتوفر الا معها كافضل وارخص شركة تنظيف بالاضافة الي خدمتا مكافحة الحشرات ورش المبيدات الامنة والفعالة علي الحشرات بجميع انواعها .. تقدم لكم اليوم افضل العروض والخدمات بخصومات هائلة يمكنكم الحصول عليها من خلال الروابط التالية

    شركة المثالية للتنظيف
    شركة المثالية للنظافة
    شركة المثالية للتنظيف بالدمام
    شركة المثالية للتنظيف بالخبر
    شركة المثالية للتنظيف بالقطيف

    ReplyDelete
  9. ahhh, I feel really lonely like right now..... wish something are here with me

    ReplyDelete
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  12. My name is ethan micheal ,am from USA.i want to share my wonderful testimony on how i got back my husband back, who i sworn ever to be with until when he left me to another woman for no reason and i try to make things work for both of us yet things where getting worse and i love him so much and there is nothing i could do to get my husband back until i met a testimony share by a woman called Stella tea from Australia on the internet talking about a powerful spell caster who brought her husband back within 24hours and i decide to give it a try and to my greatest surprise he also did it for me just as he did for Stella and i have a lot of people complaining of fake spell caster but this one i met was a real spell caster who help me to solve my problem i have no solution to,i introduce many of my best friends that have a similar problems,and their problem were solve with the great help of PRIEST WISDOM .who help them to get back their lovers within 24 hours.i am so happy that my husband is back to me again,and the most surprising thing is that our love is very strong,every day is happiness and joy. and there is nothing like been with the man you love.i am so happy my love is back to me with the help of PRIEST WISDOM if you have similar problem i will advice you to contact him ,he is there to help you and put a smile on your face as he did to me and others.contact email supernaturalspell@yahoo.COM or supernaturalspell1@gmail.com you can call /whatsapp him through is mobile number +2348124644470

    https://supernaturalspell1.blogspot.com/

    THIS MY BLOG

    https://ethanmicheal1.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
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    My Name is Sandra Maria from USA, I want to say thank you to PRIEST WISDOM for the good thing he has done for me,Though am not sure if this is the best forum to show my joy and happiness for what he has done for me but i cant hide happiness and my Joy so i have to share it with people, my marriage got crashed about two years ago and i tried all i could within my power but to no avail. i saw post and testimonial about the good things PRIEST WISDOM has been doing so i decided to give it a try. though he is always a busy man but when he responded back to my email, he gave me 48hours for my marriage to be restored really just like he said my marriage was restored since then I am happy and i am living happily i am so grateful, PRIEST WISDOM you can always email him here: Supernaturalspell1@gmail.com or WHATSAPP / cell phone +2348124644470 OR https://supernaturalspell1.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  15. My names are Robert Jason want to testify about this great love spell caster that helped me bring back my ex wife. My ex wife and i where having a misunderstanding which led to our breakup though i went to beg her several times to please forgive and accept me back because i know i offended her but each time i went i always feel more deeply in pain and agony because she always walk out on me and would not want to listen to what i have to tell and i felt so empty inside me, my loneliness became worst, until this faithful day i was browsing through the internet i saw a testimony on the internet testifying of Dr Raypower good work, i contacted him which he assured me within 48 hours for an instant result. Just same 48 hours as he promised my wife now came back home begging for forgiveness to love and cherish her and the kids forever, am so happy and thankful to Dr Raypower,,, My wife is madly in love with me again. If there is any body Out there who is in Difficulties and need help should kindly Contact Dr. Raypower below

    Email: urgentspellcast@gmail.com

    Call or WhatsApp: +1 (424) 330-8109

    Website: http://urgentspellcast.website2.me/

    Blog: https://urgentpowerfullovespell.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hello my name is Kallya from USA i want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Ade my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Ade have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my problem he told me he shall return back to me within 24hrs i did everything he asked me to do the nest day to my greatest surprise my husband came back home and was crying and begging for me to forgive and accept him back he can also help you contact
    ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

    https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com

    Blog: https://ancientspirit1.blogspot.com

    Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

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    ReplyDelete
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  19. Hello my name is Kallya from USA i want to tell the world about the great and mighty spell caster called Priest Ade my husband was cheating on me and no longer committed to me and our kids when i asked him what the problem was he told me he has fell out of love for me and wanted a divorce i was so heart broken i cried all day and night but he left home i was looking for something online when i saw an article how the great and powerful Priest Ade have helped so many in similar situation like mine he email address was there so i sent him an email telling him about my problem he told me he shall return back to me within 24hrs i did everything he asked me to do the nest day to my greatest surprise my husband came back home and was crying and begging for me to forgive and accept him back he can also help you contact
    ancientspiritspellcast@yahoo.com or ancientspiritspellcast@gmail.com

    https://ancientspiritspellcast12.wordpress.com

    Blog: https://ancientspirit1.blogspot.com

    Website http://ancientspiritspellcast.website2.me

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    ReplyDelete
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