Goodbye, my friend (Digression)

My friend died yesterday.

“There is… so much I still don’t understand” “As it should be.”

I don’t know details, but he and his wife were driving on a Sunday morning – he would appreciate a Babylon 5 Sunday Drive reference here – and two cars were racing. They apparently slammed into him sideways, and hit other cars as well.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

What can I say? He was at least 10 years younger than I am, and he was kind. We gamed together for years, and if you hear me mutter about the power of the Tickle spell in GURPS, I’m talking about Jason. We did Hwa Rang Do demonstrations together, we grappled, sparred, and fought with weapons, and I trusted him. You were safe fighting with Jason, because to him it was all one joyous, goofy game. A serious game, and he played to win, and played to learn, but I don’t think it was ever in his nature to take things personally.

Jason (seated) and the HRD crew jammin’ to Rock Band

He had many deep convictions, many of which I did not, could not share. But he lived those convictions. He wanted to help others, so he did not send emails or post facebook memes – he joined the Peace Corps and lived and worked and led and taught martial arts in Vanuatu. Where’s that? Google it. It’s way the hell away from everything, and of course Jason went there.

If there was a cause, he marched for it, was physically and mentally active for it. He committed to his passions, while at the same time embracing a devil-may-care attitude towards life itself, and very much took the ‘tude that life was way too important to take seriously, I think.

Finishing a Demo. Jason pushing my head to the floor: “Stay DOWN!”

We hadn’t seen much of each other recently. But when I say things like “learning how to do Viking Axe Fighting is the most delightfully impractical thing I’ve ever done,” I can picture him unrolling a scroll, and that parchment hitting the floor, and rolling down the hall.

“Oh. You’ve done something delightfully impractical, have you? You should try some of these . . . ”

And it wouldn’t have been one-uppsmanship. That was not in his nature. It would have been “let’s pick something new for you to do.” Burlesque. Poi fire spinning. Over the top cosplay (OK, I’ve done that one). I’m sure his friends would pile on endlessly and with great entertainment value. Jason did stuff.

He had an amusing as hell relationship with my children. My eldest was terrified of him, for no good reason (maybe she mentally knew he found children tasty, and good with ketchup?). He naturally took this in stride.

I’ll miss him. The world is a poorer place with him not in it.

I think he’d find it appropriate were I to end with a movie quote:

“Tell me how he died?”

“I will tell you how he lived.”

9 thoughts on “Goodbye, my friend (Digression)

  1. Doug, I’m so sorry for your loss. A touching tribute, I’m sure he would be pleased by this.

  2. Expect him to keep coming back, if only in thought. I recently saw that a game designer from way back had passed away. One of the games he’d worked on was the early post-apocalyptic classic “The Morrow Project,” and it crossed my mind to alert a friend of mine to his death, that being one of his favorite games.

    Then I remembered that he’d died himself a year and a couple of months ago. We kept a bottle of Cherry 7-Up, his favorite tipple, to hand on Tabletop Day this year.

  3. Sorry to hear about your loss man. I know the feelings you are going to go through are going to be rough for the next few days buy just know you got a loving wife, kids and the rest of fellow brothers of the blog here to give you support.

    Just about half an hour ago I found out myself that someone I know got in a car accident yesterday as well. While thankfully he suffered only minor injuries, both of these incidents really puts things into prospective and it goes to show that you can not take life for granted.

  4. A fitting tribute. You might have said, “He lived well.” Our thoughts go out to all who knew him at HRD and of course, Gaea.

  5. You only get a limited amount of time to spend with the people in your life; I’m glad you got to spend good times with this friend.

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