Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Because I need to blog about this....

I'd been debating whether to put this on The Jannaverse, or on one of my lesser-trafficked blogs. It's not particularly funny, and is actually kind of sad.
Plus I first started talking about it on another blog anyway.

But in the end I decided it belonged here, because this blog is the one I cherish the most, and this story is really an inseparable part of me.

I don't know if that makes any sense.

But please, listen anyway.

I learned Monday that one of my friends died.

His name was Ed. We went to college together, and we were the same type of nerdy introverted outcast. We both loved sci-fi, we both wanted to write a novel someday, we both loved life in the country, we both loved reading, we both had a bizarre sense of humor that not everyone could appreciate. All day I've been remembering the "good" memories of my friendship with him, going back and forth between smiling and crying.

After college, we both kept in touch, through letters and e-mail and phone calls and visits. He was fun to spend time with. We had good times, going off on all sorts of tangents in our conversation. We could be wacky, and we could be horribly morbid. Either way, we understood one another.

Then, one day back in 2003, abruptly I stopped hearing from him. As time progressed, I became increasingly worried. I put a post on Jantrails (HERE), hoping that maybe someone would be able to let me know what happened.

Monday, I finally found out.
One of his old high school classmates e-mailed me to say that Ed had died.
He passed away just a few weeks ago, on May 14, 2008.
He was 38.... the same age as me.
Here is the obituary.

The classmate had found Ed's obituary, and had done a Google search of his name, trying to find more information. The search led him to my Jantrails post, which is how he found me. If I hadn't done that post, I'd still have no idea what happened.

I'd abruptly stopped hearing from Ed in 2003, so it was strange to hear that he passed away so recently, in 2008. I wonder, had he been sick for an extended period of time? Was he in the hospital? I knew he'd had heart trouble, and the obituary says that people were encouraged to donate to the American Heart Association, so does that mean he had a heart attack? I may never know what happened.

Since I didn't find out about this until June 2nd, I wasn't able to attend the funeral (which was on May 21st).
As it is, I'm going to try to find out what cemetery he's in, and see if I can visit him there to pay my respects. Not sure how to go about locating that, but I suppose e-mailing the funeral home is a good start.

To celebrate his life and the time I spent with him, I'm going to post a list of the good memories I have. The good and the strange and the bittersweet. A list that, in some small way, helps communicate to all of you what a unique person he was.
But not today.
Today I just need time to curl up and think about this.



Meloncutter said...

Just know you are in my thoughts. You got my number if you need to scream.

Loss is the worst part of life. Having memories of those we lost is the second best part. Making those memories is the best.

Later Y'all.

Mr. Fabulous said...

I have gone both ways on this. I have had classmates die that really made me slam on the brakes and get philisophical, and I have had classmates die that have left me wondering where they are buried so that I could dance on their graves.

Lynda said...

I'm so sorry, Janna. I would recommend you try and get in touch with Ed's parents. You may think you are imposing, but reaching out to them and telling them how much Ed touched your life would probably be a comfort to them.

Desert Songbird said...

Regardless of what the state of your friendship is/was, I think it's safe to assume that you would be affected by this news. I have friends from the past with whom I have reconnected for a time, only to have them abruptly drop out of sight again. That doesn't mean I don't still think of them or care about their well-being.

Travis said...

I'm so sorry to hear of this loss. Be well.

Michael C said...

I am sorry Janna. At least you got some closure knowing what happened I'm sorry you did not get to attend the funeral.

Heart issues are very close to me. Again, I am sorry.

whall said...

I can see how that would have hit you like a ton of bricks. I'm turning 38 this year and we're heading into the section of our lives when we start losing friends and family members at at alarming rate.

I hope you cope well - seems like you will.

Mo said...

Sorry to hear of this. I hope you find where he's buried so you can go pay your respects and have some closure.
But is it just me that the notion of e-mailing a funeral home just seems weird?

Marilyn said...

I'm so sorry. I hope you find the place.

Janna said...

Meloncutter: Yes. It does indeed feel awful to lose someone.... regardless of how they end up leaving.

Fab: Please wait until I'm dead before you dance on my grave.

Lynda: The funeral home had a link where I could send a private message to the family. I offered my condolences and asked if they would please let me know where Ed is buried. I hope they answer...

DesertSongbird: Agreed....

Travis: Thank you. :)

MichaelC: Yes... closure is important. I need closure in more than one area of my life right now, too.

Whall: Thank you for your faith in my coping skills. I think I will be ok eventually, once the shock has worn off and I've been able to find some closure.

Morgen: I dunno; I just think it sounds like a good modern funeral home that has kept up with the times. I think it's kinda nice that they offer online contact services. Seems comforting to me, like an added way to reach out.

Marilyn: Me too.

Lynda said...

If you can't find out, I recommend going to a place you shared and paying your respects that way. You don't need the cemetary to be able to pay your respects.

Shelli said...

While I was reading your description of your friendship that it sounded like you were describing Fab. Maybe that's what you found appealing about Fab. Just my armchair psychoanalysis.

I'm sorry for your loss, both in 2003 and this week.

Janna said...

Lynda: True, true. Still, I'd like to find the cemetery... Somehow it seems more personal that way. If I can't, then my second choice would be that bell tower at Adrian College. Except I would probably sit there and cry, and students would wonder what the heck was going on...

Shelli: The Fab similarities didn't even occur to me until you said that. Wow. Yes, I suppose in some ways they were similar... and yet very different in other ways.