It’s hazy days in the beginning… but I first met Rupert at either the Vision For You meeting near Sloane Square or at the Richmond meeting at the start of 2002, at the start of my recovery. How blessed I was!
Soon after I met his youngest daughter, lovely Morgan, who used to sit in the Richmond meeting. She is still the wisest person I’ve met of her age. Then before long Carole and Angharad and then Brian the dog too. A beautiful family.
Immediately I loved Rupert’s sense of humour and his sense of how to live life on life’s terms. I would see him at least once every week and phoned and texted him plenty of times for his loving kind wise advice. I remember how on an old mobile phone I had text predict always turned “Rupert” into “purest”. It always made me smile and was apt in some way…
Soon we spent plenty of time together outside of the meetings, Morgan and my wife Debs bonding over horses, and no doubt having men in their homes like us! We had our beloved dogs too and we’d walk with Brian and Elvis around Bushy and Home Parks. Great chats and chuckles always.
When we moved from Hampton Wick to Devon about 12 years ago, Rupert and Morgan used to visit to stay with us. I loved Rupert’s friendship with Morgan and I always said I’d love to be a dad like that. Now I have two boys aged 9 & 11, and I think I am – my heartfelt thanks Rupert.
On those visits we had the best times, Rupert and Morgan’s visits the highlight of each year. When Elvis our boxer left us we got another boxer and Presley just adored Rupert, specifically licking his ears in some kind of frenzy. It became a regular greeting that Rupert seemed to love just as much…
We’d take Dartmoor jaunts and more local walks. Requisite was a long stick to be found swiftly upon starting any walk, about the height of the person carrying it. Time was when we’d all have what fondly became known and are now forever known as a “Rupert stick”. No long walk is ever complete without one.
I remember fondly Rupert’s many impressions, one of his best being of a drunk man trying to shake everyone’s hands. As they often do!
Then there was “Big Jobs”… It was school days all over again. Virtually wetting ourselves. Big Jobs were to be our fortune. Rupert’s genius idea, that we all increasingly and eagerly elaborated on each time we met up, Big Jobs were human poo-shaped chocolate intended as mischievous gifts. THE gift for such as an ex who was causing trouble or a former boss who’d made life hell for the person who delivered the Big Job… In stitches, we would develop many varieties with names such as The Very Big, Big Job. Utterly juvenile and total fun!
Rupert would always spend so much time making our boys laugh as well. I treasure some photos of him with them when they were infants and you can just see the love in Rupert’s eyes. Later our boys became huge Mr Bean fans and we were amazed to discover on one visit that our fantastic friend Rupert had actually acted with Mr Bean. We’ve watched the clip of Rupert and Mr Bean in that hospital queue a million times!
I bonded with Rupert too over our creative passions, his for acting and mine for writing. And I so related to when Rupert said with his acting that when he’d started – before he began his recovery – that he had not merely wanted to make it as an actor but that no less than the world’s greatest ever actor would do.
But Rupert achieved so much more than that by being himself, his true beautiful and brilliant self. He helped transform and save so many lives.
Over my 19 years of recovery Rupert has helped me consistently the most of anyone, in so many ways. I am now privileged to be able to pass on some of Rupert’s wisdom to people in need of help.
I cannot put into words of course just how much we will all miss Rupert. My life and my family’s life is infinitely richer for having known Rupert.
I am so very sad, as we all are. But I also smile so much thinking about Rupert and all those amazing times we had together. When I think of Rupert I think of wisdom and laughter.
We are always here for Carole, Angharad and Morgan, of course. As we know they will be for us. And Rupert’s spirit is eternal, his love for us all and our love for him infinite.
I will have a good few more chats with him in my morning meditations. And not for the last time, in my mind, Rupert has read this out, Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata, word for word, by memory – with his fantastic eloquent theatrical warm voice, as he could do and as we requested so often.
In my mind and my heart and soul, Rupert still is, always is.
“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”
In fellowship. God bless you.
We love you forever Rupert. XxxX
You da man!