By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
One day after laying their loved one to rest, friends and family gathered on Thursday to honor a man whose message will live on long after his death.
Richard Farr died Dec. 14, just five days before he was to honor his son, Jordan, at a candlelight vigil in Camanche.
Knowing how important it was to him, members of the organization Speak Out, a suicide awareness group that Rich was an integral part of, decided to honor his memory by holding the vigil, despite the sorrow of his passing.
“Rich talked about this for months. He talked about it for months after the first vigil and he talked about it months before today,” Speak Out member Nikki Carber said. “So we just knew that it was the right thing to do, to carry on this tradition. And we will do it every year — in honor of them both now.”
After the tragic loss of his son, Rich joined the group Speak Out to send a message of hope to those struggling with depression and thoughts of suicide.
Only in his death did the group realize just how much he had done in his short time as a member.
Outside of his work with Speak Out, Rich offered guidance to young people who struggled with the same feelings as his son, being a person they could trust and who understood those feelings.
As they spoke about the impact he had on their lives, those in attendance understood the significance he had on the community.
“You can never truly thank a person for the things that Rich did,” best friend Darrell Davis said.
During the vigil, with lighted candles in their hands, friends shared stories of both Rich and Jordan, evoking laughter as well as tears; a prayer from Pastor Josh Meyer brought peace, if only for a moment, to those who were in mourning; and a song captured the essence of what the evening meant to all of them.
Although he will be sorely missed by those who loved him, Rich left behind a message and legacy that will never be forgotten.
“Someone told us at the funeral that when Rich came into the group, it really helped him through a tough time,” friend and Speak Out member Amber Metzger said. “But, I think it was the other way around. He did amazing things for all of us.”