December 25, 2000
Losing a friend
In case anyone was unaware, Christopher G. Long (Crusher from Undernet IRC) passed away on Monday, December 18, 2000, from what is currently believed to be an adverse reaction to his asthma inhaler medication.
The past 168 hours have been hell. An unequaled surrealistic nightmare. I can't speak for others, but I personally have slept maybe 12 hours total over the past week. Friday I flew from San Jose, CA to Boston, MA for the funeral and memorial services. Saturday morning, we said our final goodbyes, and laid our friend Chris to rest.
I have never hurt this badly in my life. Nothing in my 22 years on earth, not even my own nearly-fatal auto accident, has ever slammed me this hard. Chris was a friend. He was of my generation. He was a good person. He worked incredibly hard to achieve what he had. He cared for his friends immensely. And he shouldn't have died young.
I've thought long and hard about this tragedy all week. It's painful to think of, because Chris was just a few months older than me. He was in much better shape than I was. It makes me wonder what might happen to me. Gathering here in Boston over the weekend with his friends and family is helping us all to cope. So is the memorial website, set up at thesilicondragon.com.
I've also done a lot of thinking about my own mortality. Many people have said that I was given a second chance when I was in my auto accident. Chris deserved that second chance more than I did. I screwed up and made stupid mistakes, and I got a second chance. Chris didn't make stupid mistakes. He didn't screw up. But he didn't get that second chance. The conclusion I inevitably come to every time I think down this road, is that I would trade in this second chance I was given, if it would bring back my friend.
Chris, wherever you are, we miss you. Godspeed, and God bless and keep you.
Published: December 25, 2000