Remembering Richie

New Year's Eve, 2017. We'll never forget it. We had plans to spend it on the beach, a pretty, secluded one where we could later camp under the stars as we rang in the new year. We'd try and build a mini bonfire and if we were lucky, catch a glimpse of the fireworks. It was a great plan. We had the best Kmart run ever for it the night before. Richie hadn't decided if he was coming or not yet.
           But that afternoon, when most of us were about to say goodbye to another year and excited about the one coming, the close knit Milazzo family had to find a way to say goodbye to their incredible eldest boy, Richard, taken suddenly and way too soon by strong swells when he became caught in a rip while swimming with this brother, who fought desperately to save them both. It still doesn't seem like real life. 
             So now they're trying to deal and everyone's offering their sympathy, prayers, support, maybe some people even bring food. I thought about it but maybe you don't even get hungry in a time like that. But we all find it's hard to know how else to really help. And I started to think about all the things that have to be done when you lose family. Do you store his things away, do you leave his room as is to feel closer to him? Who calls his work? Funeral arrangements, you can't avoid it forever. Who gives a eulogy on the day, what do you even say and what if you can't hold yourself together enough to finish? And then I looked into the average cost of one. Even the basic ones cost $4,000-5,000 but of you course you want more for him than that. They have enough going on, the cost makes it all even more unfair. And I know we all really want to help.
            So I thought this could be another more tangible way we can show our support and how much we care. Make this time that little bit less hard. Even $20. With all the the people who care about them it could really add up. Even the smallest monetary gesture you could give would go a long way to the family feeling just how much love for them is out there. And for Richie. He was so kind and generous, I know he would have done it for someone else. And wasn't that what this past Christmas holidays was all about, loved ones and giving? So please share this on your walls so we can get this everywhere and hopefully make your own contribution, and let's try and give this wonderful guy the send-off he deserves and his family the support they need in this time. It'd mean the world to them so thank you.


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Sara Fresco 
Bella Vista NSW
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