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Mid Life Crisis - Kilimanjaro 2015 Challenger both Body and Mind

So why did I choose to support Cruse Bereavement Care Somerset- Kilimanjaro Blog

TANZANIA | Tuesday, 7 July 2015 | Views [1282]



13 years ago on Friday 3rd May 2002, I had finished for the day and was working in the garage on my Triumph Herald. My friend and housemate in my first house, Darren (Daz) came into the garage and said he was going to West Bay on his motorbike, a Honda Fire blade and asked if I wanted to come. He was excited as it was only three weeks until he moved into his first house.

However I was busy so I declined and we agreed to go for beers in our local at 20:00 (Military time) when he got back. Something we did most Friday nights as many lads in their twenties did.

We squeezed the Blade past the Triumph, as we did most weeks. Off he went with a cheery wave and agreement that it was his round as I had beaten him at badminton on the Monday (something which didn’t happen very often, as he played badminton for the Royal Navy)

I enjoyed my time working in the garage, had my tea and was ready to go out but he hadn’t returned. The longer I waited for him, the darker it got. And the more worried I got as I knew he didn’t like riding his bike in the dark.

As this was the generation before mobile phones were always with us, all I could do was to wait…

So I waited. At 21:30 the home phone rang. I knew something was wrong as our home phone never rang that late.

But it wasn’t Daz. It was the police. There had been an accident. My heart sank, I had known Daz for about seven years and he had an infectious enthusiasm for life. Was he ok? Which hospital? Can I go and see him? I asked lots of questions very quickly.

The response I received from the police is still in my mind! Hence why this is probably the hardest thing I have EVER written “we are trying to contact Darren’s next of kin”.


I don’t remember the rest of the call, but I clearly gave his next of kin details as 10 minutes later I was talking to Daz’s parents.

An hour later I was telling his girlfriend, a lovely lady who I knew from badminton.

Did I seek support from Cruse Bereavement Care Somerset or similar? No, of course not, I was in my early twenties and invincible. You don’t need to ask if I regret not seeking support for this bereavement, as it was this experience which inspired me to raise awareness for and funds to support Cruse Bereavement Care Somerset.

I am currently 37% away from my sponsorship target, if you would like to support Cruse Bereavement Care Somerset help people who have been affected by traumatic bereavement, please visit, https://www.justgiving.com/Tony-Mattravers/.

Tags: challenge, charity, frustration, hard work, killimanjaro, panic, panic, summit, trekking

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