It has been almost a year since my friend Chaucer passed away. In some ways, I still have not come to grips with his death. There have been many times where, while doing something, thoughts of him and how he would have reacted have passed through my mind - stark reminders of an emptiness that has not yet healed. When I learn something new in the world of technology, I tend to think of how I would talk with him about it (whether he really cared or not - and I suspect he didn't). The same goes for music for we had similar tastes (well, ok, except for him and his band camp thing). I recently picked up a copy of a Lady Gaga CD and remembered that he had first introduced her music to me and I discarded it thinking it was nothing more than light pop/dance music that wouldn't keep my interest. Of course, he thought the same thing so go figure why he bought the CD in the first place.
He loved playing the video game Need For Speed and we had done it at my house - where he promptly beat me soundly each time we played. I have not played the game since he died; I think in part because I am not sure I want to play and remember him and the pain that is still associated with his passing. His contact info is still in my phone because I don't want to delete it for fear that I may forget one day. I still have him in my email and chat applications as if though he may someday just magically reappear and we can discuss politics and race relations (he was one of the few blacks I knew who actually halfway considered voting for McCain (though he wouldn't admit that to anyone else) - then voted for Obama anyway). I thought of him a couple of weeks ago when I read Clarence Thomas' opinion on the Chicago gun control case and the history of black ownership of guns in the US - and knew that he would have enjoyed discussing that opinion.
His death has affected me more than I would have thought possible. I certainly feel I have been more distant from friends and even family because I worry about how I would feel if I lose them. A stupid way to live and one that I am working to change back again but something that I would not have considered before Sept 4, 2009. I know I am not the only one who misses him as his many other friends continue to post messages on his Facebook account.
I wish I could have truly told his parents and his brother(s) how their son/brother affected me, what a positive influence he was (and still is in many ways) on me - even though I am a generation older than he - but I could not find the right words to express it and I am too proud to cry. I am sure that they are even more affected by his untimely passing than I but maybe it would help them to know that he is not forgotten and that he won't be. I miss the dude...