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Rowland, Geraint William
13 March 1989 - 26 December 2015
Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
In loving memory of my uncle, Geraint Rowland, who tragically jumped to his death from a bridge in the early hours of Boxing Day, 2015. Geraint was a humorous, warm, gentle man who was known amongst his friends and family for his wicked sense of humour and his love of all things fun.
Some of my fondest memories of Geraint are of our time in Spain in the villa he lived in with George and my grandmother. We played Tekken, and he bought a small, spiky, multi-coloured plastic ball that lit up when thrown. I was intrigued, being only around 7 years old, and slightly envious. Knowing I was upset at the fact that we had to go home and I wouldn't see it again for a long time, he gave it to me on the way to the airport. I remember that small act of kindness and I have treasured that little ball ever since, a fact he was amazed at when I told him years later.
He was great fun to be around and a great older brother figure as I was an only child at the time. He taught me my left and right: I told him I couldn't remember so he showed me, pointing on one side (the left) to a field of grass in the Spanish wilderness, and the other side (the right) to some bush.
When his father, George, passed from pancreatic cancer in 2010, Geraint came to live with my mother, siblings, stepfather and I for a short time. We once binged watched all the Harry Potter movies bar the first, & I'd often accompany him on his visits to the Tesco across the road from us. On one such visit, I saw a toad in the glint of a streetlight. "Look! A toad!" I said to him. He laughed at my enthusiasm and didn't even bat an eyelid when I proceeded to pick it up and then carry it in both hands around the shop. And he shared my trepidation when a small woman appeared from the steps below the store, flanked by two massive white dogs she evidently couldn't control, shouting, "FLEURRRRRRRR! LOLLLLLAAAAA!" She was evidently embarrassed as they dragged her towards us, as she was vastly overpowered! The dogs, however, were extremely soft, despite their intimidating appearance. He found this incident hilarious, and when he moved out, I smiled at the memory when I saw her walking them again.
I really can't emphasise how genuinely sweet and pleasant he was to be around and I will and do miss him bitterly. Unfortunately, he had a tendency to be sucked in by his emotions and was sometimes unable to see the bigger picture rationally and this, along with family tensions tied to loss of my great grandparents / his uncle Paul, led to a lack of contact before his death that I now regret deeply. However, the door was always open to Geraint and I believe in my heart that he was aware of this, but life has a habit of getting in the way sometimes.
Despite his partner Cara not wanting contact at this time with us, I want it to be known that I will never close the door on her or on their son Gunnarr. Gunnarr was only three weeks old when Geraint died and it pains me to think that he could have been so desperate that he thought that the best thing for his boy was to leave him. I want it to be known that we were never disinterested and we never rejected anybody after Geraint's death and we never will. Sometimes things are too painful to face and people need time to heal and space and understanding to do so. I just hope that by writing this, Geraint's story isn't forgotten and he can be remembered as the smiling, kind, mischievous boy I knew and loved - the best uncle (and substitute big brother as he was only eight years older) I could have wished for.
"Hail Geraint." I'll see you again one day.