Police officer Richard Crichlow was accorded full military honours with a 21-gun salute, as family, friends, co-workers and loved ones Thursday bade farewell to the 41-year veteran.
Crichlow died on March 19 at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) after a brief illness. He was 62.
His family was joined Thursday afternoon by active and retired members of the Royal Barbados Police Force, the Barbados Police Association, the Fire Department, the Immigration Department and members of #25 the Grand United Order of Mosaic Templars, who packed the St Mary’s Anglican Church on Lower Broad Street, the City to pay their last respects.
No tears were shed during the 90-minute funeral service, but it was a different scenario at the gravesite where those close to the deceased police officer could no longer hold back the tears as Crichlow’s casket was lowered into the grave around 5:30 p.m.
While Crichlow’s widow Betty sat stoically under a tent near the grave as her husband’s mortal remains were lowered into the ground, his niece Renea Layne had to be consoled by other members of the family as she sobbed uncontrollably.
Another young woman was also seen wiping tears from her eyes. Barbados TODAY was later told that Crichlow had died minutes after she had visited him at the QEH.
Eulogist Allan Goodridge paid a moving tribute, expressing his admirations for Crichlow through poetry.
“You never said you were leaving. You never said goodbye. You were gone before I knew it. A million times we loved you, a million times we cried. If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died. In life I love you dearly and in death I love you still. In my heart you hold a place that no one will ever fill. It broke my heart to lose you, but you did not go alone, for part of me went with you the day God took you home.”
Goodridge said Crichlow, who was due to retire on August 1, was a dedicated family man and father, who had adopted many young police officers as his children.
“He was a very affable person and made friends easily. He was jovial and had many jokes of his own. He had the ability to keep you smiling long after one of his joke was finished.
“He was indeed a no nonsense man if he had to be. He wasted no time in telling you off. He did not hate you and neither could you hate him. If he told you off everything stayed with him. He was a jack-of-all-trades even of it only meant talking about it. On reflection had he not been a police officer he would have tried to be a mason, carpenter or any other tradesman,” the eulogist said.
“None of us can escape death. Death is inevitable and is shared by all people. Kings die and the poor die. Young men die and old men die. Highly educated men die and ignorant people die. I want to salute you for your brilliant mind. I salute your passion and the 41 years you spent in the RBPF. I also salute your for your patience, understanding and for your sense of humour. I salute you for your devotion to family,” Goodridge said as if the deceased was listening to him.
Meanwhile, Reverend Jilian Crawford encouraged the grieving family not to fear anything because God was with them.
“Unfortunately, God never said our lives will be free of pain, suffering or grief. In fact, God knows that at times we become afraid and be dismayed or even angry . . . . When faced with the loss of someone we love our spirit feels weak, our emotions are weak and even our bodies become tired and worn from the pain and the sorrow. We are reminded of the words of our text, where it said God will strengthen us in times such as these,” Crawford said.
The cleric also took the opportunity to urge the congregation to leave an imprint by which they will be remembered.
“People will measure your life [on] what kind of impression you would have made on others. The truth is in one way or another people will remember us in certain ways,” she said. [email protected]