He just passed away last week. At the time I read about his passing, I didn't know who it was, and posted this in response:
Wow, congratulations for having a friend like that! It sounds like he really added to the quality of your life too.
I had a good friend pass away during my first year overseas. His memorial was a marvelous experience. We spent the whole time looking back at his life, all he’d done, all he’d touched, all his friends and family. He was mid-30’s, and had lived more than most people I know.
I guess I’m saying Sparky is where he is now. The memorial is for you and the people left behind. I hope you can help make that another lesson on how to live life for his friends. Compare this life with one of ’someday I’ll go do…’. Wealth is thoughts, not things, and it sounds like he was quite wealthy. Keep your memories of him, and share that wealth.
“Those that fear death are not living life.”
It's interesting how my thoughts changed upon realizing who it was. I still agree with what I wrote, but it's more personal now too. In some ways, it's more true. I don't spare a lot of thought for those now gone, but for my memories of them. As he lives on in my memories, that seems the place to put attention to honor the lessons.
I have had conversations with friends, deep discussions that have opened my eyes to new ideas, changed my mind, or otherwise affected my consciousness - driving down the road alone. We don't fully experience anyone: we make up our minds about them, build up a personality for them in our mind, and occasionally actually act like we're completely on the same page. So 'Sparky' is alive and well - in the minds of hundreds or thousands of people affected by him. That's certainly where my sadness and hurt are right now.
And my joy and appreciation for having known him, and remembering the time I did have with him. Thank you for letting me know you.