Oh, crap, that was hard


Today was Pro's Bay Area memorial.

Becky's been touring the country, stopping at places where she and Pro lived, visiting with friends and inviting them to celebrate his life. Today was the Bay Area memorial, held ridiculously close to our house. We went, thinking about the event all morning, moving slowly, doing little else but thinking of Pro and telling various stories. The memorial was incredibly bittersweet: holy crap, look at all these amazing people whom I've met over the last 10 years of my life (wow!), holy crap, why does it take the death of a friend to bring all of these people together?

Not my pain


The summer after I graduated high school, I was at work (in a bookstore, of course), when a personal call came through for me. I thought the call odd, and answered it, to hear Jenn tell me Ben had died. He was on a plane that had crashed the previous day, wind shears, one survivor, not Ben. Telling me at work seemed smart: I walked into the bathroom, cried for a long while, cleaned up, then went back to work, moving as numbly as I could, just needing something, anything, to keep going.

Ben's funeral wasn't so much of a funeral, there was no body to view, as a memorial. I remember being seeming the only person there crying. I couldn't understand why no one else was crying. Half the people there, and not just the boys, didn't have any evidence of having cried at all. Ben's mom at one point mentioned the graduation gift that was still on Ben's bed, unopened.

No one was crying.

For some of us, it was our first introduction to death, and they weren't crying.

I was confused and even more upset.

Three days ago, we began receiving the emails that, oh, god, none of us ever want to receive.

"... becky brought pro into the hospital yesterday and it doesnt look like he will be leaving this time ..."

"... They have found that the disease has progressed more than they realised and he is not doing well. The doctors have estimated that he has about three days ..."

So, here I am, completely stymied, at a loss.

And crying.

This isn't even my pain, and I'm crying.

Crying, because here's the imminent loss of an amazing person. Someone who is quick with the joke, generous with his time, as intense as needed, and just amazing to boot. He's this amazing person, and he's dying and it isn't fair.

It isn't fair to Becky, who is a wonderful person. It isn't fair to his kids. It isn't fair that someone who is good dies of something as stupid as pancreatic cancer. It's their pain, and I can't stop crying.