Enough is enough, no more people I know are allowed to die for at least 6 weeks (or until I come back from my holidays on 27th January!)
Having bemoaned that I sat around waiting for the third person to die, the 4th, 5th and then 6th died before Chrismas.
This latter my first priestly boss (or "Rector" as we used to call him!) was a curious mix of the person who longed to be different but couldn't bring himself to be free of his conservative shackles. He was enormously gifted and perceptive, when he preached well he was remarkably good and helpful. But he was also deeply threatened, not I think by other people's competence, but by any sense of loss of power. He thus threw away countless opportunities to soar because he was frightened that if he flew tooo high he would not be able to crap on people below.
Perhaps a little harsh! But as one who was his subordinate I (and others) could have done without it.
I found myself asking my wife a couple of weeks ago what I would have been like if instead of being discouraged I had been enouraged by him. Then a few days later he died.
I have only myself to blame for allowing him to affect me the way he did, and there were other issues going on at the time.
As death unremittingly reminds us of what we ought to do and what we ought not to have done, I tried when I was a training Rector to treat my curates better than I had been treated.
With one I was too liberal, but he was moderately competent any way. The next was good, because he would have been good where ever he was, but I think I helped him a little. The next just totally exploited my desire to not be like my first Rector and did what he liked....he is now in a position of prominence and doing that to lots of others too....and by the time I had the last one I became bored with the whole exercise and he just did nothing other than play golf, and I just couldn't raise the energy to smack him over the ear.
So? My reflection? Don't go criticising the now defunct AJD, I did no better myself. I hope that he has the rest and stability in eternity that he could not bear to have on earth, and yet so desperately longed for