Just a warning, this is going to be a blog entry that is more like something that should be in my journal. I guess it's just something I feel like I need to share. I found out today that a former coworker, friend, and guy I dated a little died of pancreatic cancer. The emotion I felt over this was somewhat surprising to me. First of all, I hadn't spoken to him in something like 9 years. (Okay, 10, but that number just sounds scary to me.) I am fully aware that any emotion or grief I am feeling is more about me than about him. Don't get me wrong, it is incredibly sad that he had to suffer and that he died so young, leaving a wife and 9-month-old daughter behind. But, the root of my sadness is more the realization that I can die. That those I love can die, anytime, without warning. This guy lived in the Middle East for years, among terrorism and war, and didn't die then. He was in the West Bank, Beirut, Iraq…but he wasn't killed by suicide bombers; his life was snuffed out by cancer in his mid thirties. This bucks all logic, and is therefore scary. I also always felt a little bad about how things ended up with him…lots of loose ends with me not speaking to him ever again. (It helped that he lived halfway around the world, making bumping into him at Safeway improbable.) The loose ends were fine when he wasn't dead. Death kind of ties up any earthly loose ends and not in a way we always like. He was a nice guy, one of the first I knew after moving to DC, and I would have liked to keep knowing him. I have good memories and associations of him from that time in my life, in my early 20s, which seems like so long ago.
I think technology has intensified the shock and emotion. I found out about his death on someone's Facebook status update. Yeah, Facebook. And then was made immediately close to the situation through his wife's blog which detailed his illness and last days and had guestbook entries from lots of friends (including me). It's bizarre. And, here I go again, drawing you all in. Anyway, I'll leave it saying that I know Mike will be missed by his family, and I hope he rests in peace.