I keep re-writing this first line because I don't know how to convey it.
First a moment of "wha?!" when you read the announcement, then shock, then theempty numbness spreads out from your gut until you're just staring at things like an idiot. I haven't felt this weight in almost a decade. So close to forgetting. Why is it in life we can't remember things we'd like to remember and we can't forget the things we want to forget?
Pain would almost be better than this, except of all the kinds of pain in the world there is only one that can accompany this event, and I don't want it. I really feel for those closest to Jack right now. [While I had some direct contact with him via email and chat, I missed out on the real deal...]
A blessing and a curse I guess. When you don't know someone well enough to outwardly grieve, it means you didn't really get to know the essence of that person. You got a good glimpse but really you missed out. Which is worse? Not having real memories of being with a person (even just for a beer or coffee), or feeling a pain for which there is no remedy but time?
Jack's sense of humor, his sarcasm, his way of seeing certain things -those were all things I think I had a pretty good sense for- but I never got to know the whole story and so this is what I'm left with. What many of us are left with I suspect. Vaguely relieved I'm not in tears, but genuinely sad because that means I missed something important.
I'll never get to have a beer with Jack and have those few laughs. Had I taken more initiative, who knows... we might've done just that. And though until today it would've been just a fun memory, after today it would've been a gift.
It's true for all of us who have friends here. Sounds stupid but those who've had the chance to meet and share a few laughs and good memories -- that's a gift. It's the only answer I've ever been able to come up with. There's no master plan, no fate necessarily. No jigsaw puzzle I don't think. It's just as simple as this:
There are a hundred different (useful) paths we all might take in life, but in the end all that really matters is how many of these gifts we collect and give to others in the process. Everything else is rubbish. I'll be damned if all my years of contemplating life and trying to understand "the big questions", has gotten me any closer to "the meaning of life" than that. Gifts.
Had it been one of us and not Jack, I can't help but feel [...] that he might've asked what the larger purpose of it all is. What is it we're supposed to get from an untimely death of a decent human being, that will enable us to do whatever we're supposed to do? We all know our days are numbered to one degree or another, so that can't be it can it? If we're supposed to do anything at all. I guess the previous paragraph is my answer. Recognize the gifts for what they are and be cognizant of the opportunities to share them. What else can we do?
If anyone has photographs of Jack, pm me. I'd like to do a Photoshop montage in his honor. Can't write anymore now. My brain is scrambled.
RIP, Jack. You had a bigger affect on people than you knew, I suspect....
...into the light of a dark black night.
Last edited by Moogs : 2005-06-01 at 00:42.
Reason: Chopped out some fat