Fish Out of Water by Thomas Spychalski…

Archived in the category: Featured Writers, Fish Out of Water, General Info
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 20 Jul 17 - 0 Comments

“Death is not the greatest loss in life.
The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.”
-Norman Cousins.

The loss of someone close to us or even someone we just knew in passing is nothing new to any of us. When we are younger it seems like a rare occurrence, like a comet or a meteor shower. As we grow older it seems to start to show its face all around us, chasing us down behind the sound of a ticking clock.

This may sound like a gruesome and depressing subject, but it does not have to be. In fact, if you loved or respected the person who passed, it is also a celebration of the who and why of that person and the qualities that made them stand out from the rest of the world that marches on like so many ants on a hill.

Recently, a gentleman I knew named Richard Raj Aruldoss, who I knew as Rich, passed suddenly right before the Fourth of July holiday at the young age of forty-nine.

At the time, things for Rich were not going perfectly, but he amazed me with his perseverance and the fact that even though he may have been struggling, he kept his soul in tact; he was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt right off his back if you said you needed it.

When I first met Rich, we instantly fell into conversations that most people would shake their heads and walk away from. Political discourse and theory, views on modern society, psychology, old films and music, the places he traveled while in the service with the Air Force (in the Intelligence Department where he reached the rank of Tech Sergeant) and various things as far and wide as you can imagine.

Rich also was one of the people who over the last couple of years seemed to be seeing more in me than I see in myself and actually was interested to see some of my printed archives of this very column and the book I was published in. When I got the captures of the magazine piece I did on modeling, he sat there and read the entire thing, and like many times before, told me: “You’re in the wrong business.”

Coming from his intelligence background, he’d always tell me that I was just the kind of ‘cat’ they look for to do those jobs that can read people well, think outside the box and see the bigger picture others cannot see.

To say I was not flattered would be a lie.

I also recall a random person I bumped into after Rich passed who said he provided the reflective vest and work gloves for the man to start his new job, even though Rich had little at the time himself.

Acts like that are, for me, what separates humanity from the beast.

In today’s world we reach for the golden rings on top of the pedestal, we have faith in the words of the television and the internet…in turn we miss the true examples of true humanity that rest at our collective feet.

Rest In Peace Rich, and thanks brother, for everything.

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