Sorry for the lack of updates last week, everyone. I couldn’t bring myself to write anything, and it seemed wrong somehow to post any of my filler updates.
You see, last week I lost a friend. And that threw me, not just because I won’t get to see him across a gaming table anymore. But also because his death was preventable, and it pointed up my own failings in looking after myself…I’ll get back to that.
Patrick was a gamer (and if the after-life is worth anything at all, he still is a gamer, somewhere). If you had to define what type of gamer he was at the table, I would say Thespian with a smidge of Rules Lawyer and a dash of Power Gamer. But he definitely focused on the “role” in role-playing, and a gaming session with him was never boring. Though I’m ashamed to say there were times I just wanted to play the game, and wished he would dial it back, I was always impressed by his imagination. And an almost encyclopedic knowledge of RPGs and RPG companies; I thought I was bad, but Patrick made my well of information look like a drying puddle in comparison. He could be a lot of fun to play with; often generous, always enthusiastic and he just really loved gaming.
This isn’t going to be one of those “He was Perfect” memorials. We didn’t always agree on things, we fought a couple of times (verbally, not physically) and argued more than never. There were times I just didn’t want to deal with Patrick, as I’m sure there were times he could take or leave me. But I can say that, right or wrong, even an argument with Patrick was interesting.
(And sorry Patrick, I think I was right that last time. I sure would have liked to hear your rebuttal, though.)
Mourning is almost never about the person’s death, but about their absence from our lives. That is certainly so in this case. I will miss gaming with Patrick, and miss almost as much the forum and internet discussions we had. He had an intelligence and imagination that was both impressive and rare, and he was what I would refer to as “a good guy”. I don’t think the world has ever really had a surplus of intelligent, imaginative good guys, so the passing of one more is a great loss for us all.
But all of that aside, I think it was the manner of Patrick’s passing that gave me greatest pause. One thing Patrick and I shared was an approximate waist size. We were both what could be generously described as “big boned”. And it was that waist size we shared that took him from this life way too early.
Now I’m not always the clever sort, but even I can’t ignore a wake-up call that loud. Honestly, if the passing of a friend a decade my junior from heart disease wasn’t a wake-up call for me, then I might as well just give up. Go all the way in the other direction, get Jabba the Hutt big, and start picking out a nice piano crate to be buried in. And I’m not interested in that, thank-you very much. I have too much I want to do, and almost all of it requires me to be able to fit through my front door.
So thank-you for the warning, my friend. I am going to miss you, but I will concede your last argument and try to make sure we don’t see each other again too soon.
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For those who knew Patrick, his funeral will take place on Monday, April 11, 2pm at Westlawn Funeral Home, 16310 Stony Plain Road in Edmonton.