Ever have someone you knew, but didn't, die on you?

When I was in highschool, a mere 7 years ago, I dated a boy named Andy for a few months. After we broke up, we remained good friends until he moved to florida about a year after meeting.

Andy had a little brother named Bobby, who I dubbed “little Bobby,” despite him only being a few months younger than me.

Bobby died two days ago. Hit by a car while walking home. No alcohol involved, no nothing, “just one of those things,” I’m told.

These are my memories of Bobby:

He was 15 years old when I met him the first time. He had long brown hair and a dyed blue streak in the front that had faded to mildew green. I told him he looked mexican.

We went to atlantic city and he said he had a flashback, telling us that it was caused by scabs on his spine that break off. We made fun of him. We walked along the boardwalk; I kept bumping into him and apologizing. He yelled at me for saying sorry too much.

We were drinking beer in my old apartment; I took a picture of him deep throating a bottle. I wish I still had it.

We went to old country buffet. He flipped out at Andy for no reason and stormed out of the place. Later we went to the pet store; he bought tubing to make some kind of bong out of.

We smoked cigarettes near a tree out front of out school.

We spent hours sanding grafitti off the chairs in the theatre for stage crew. He told me mean things Andy said about me, I cried in the bathroom.

Eventually he moved to Florida too. I last saw him 6 years ago.
Despite the fact that I KNOW we spent a lot of time together and had a lot of good times, these are my only memories of Bobby. And these will be my only memories of Bobby, ever.

Aside from occasional thoughts and my attempts to tell Andy to tell him “hi” for me (when Andy told me of his death, he included, “sorry, I never did tell him hi for you”), Bobby hasn’t existed to me for a long time. He is a faded memory. He will never exist to me again, and his memory will only continue to fade.

And yet I feel like shit. I feel like shit because he’s fucking dead, and I feel like shit because I don’t feel shitty enough over it. I feel like shit because he had a 4 year old kid, who looked just like him, and will never really know him. I feel like shit because one of my best friends is devastated over this. I just feel like shit.

Goodbye, little Bobby.

Something like this happened to the family of a boy in my class at primary school. His younger brother died in a motorbike accident, and then (IIRC) his mother wrecked the car on the way home from the funeral, killing one of the grandparents and her husband. They went from a family of five to a family of two in just a few ways. I didn’t really know them, but wow, what a horrible thing.

When I was in Florida working one summer I found out that a guy I knew and graduated in the same class as, but wasn’t great friends with died in a carwreck. He was a friendly guy that I drank with at a few parties and talked to on instant messenger occasionally. Had I not been in Florida I would have gone to the funeral, but since I didn’t I don’t think the fact that he died has really never hit me in a significant way. It was him and two other kids, all pre-med I believe, either on their way to, or from school. The accident involved a semi and all three were killed.

Should be ever*

I hate to admit that I don’t even remember her name now- but 20+ years ago, at college, I’d just met this cute girl at the campus grill. We were really having a good conversation about our lives & beliefs & values, and I lent her a copy of ATLAS
SHRUGGED. That was a few days before the campus went on a week off. When we
got back, news was she was killed in a car crash in her home state of Virginia, meeting
a truck as she drove along the side of a cliff.

I was a little bummed, then remembered she had my AS- and that small connection really made it personal for me.

There’s a really beautiful song about this by an Australian band called Weddings Parties Anything, called For a Short Time. The band was at a gig, met a girl, and she was later killed in a car accident (at least, that’s the story I heard). A very poignant song.

A boy I knew in middle school, Shane, had the same birthday as me. My friends threw me a party for my 13th birthday, and he was there. He kissed me. I moved away that summer. Shane was killed in a car accident right after his (and my) 18th birthday.

Joe was a coworker and occasional DnD friend. Our games stopped and he left the job. I wasn’t in any real contact with him when I found out that he was in an “accident.” There was some specualtion that the “accident” was a drug-related suicide.

Someone I used to know quite a bit better – as in we fucked a lot and lived together for a while – died of renal complications some five years after we last saw each other. I guess I could say I didn’t really know her anymore. I’m sorry she died single and childless, but had I fulfilled her wishes, I’d be the single dad of an 8-year-old right now. I’m not ready for that.

A guy I knew in high school ended up attending Texas Tech at the same time I did. He had a friend who lived in the same dorm I did. The two of them, along with a third guy, went to Palo Duro Canyon to photograph some eagles. They were caught in a completely unexpected blizzard; they were on foot, took shelter in a cave, and froze to death. This was 1959-1960 time frame and the only thing I really remember about the guy I actually knew was that he was a very talented drummer. Even his name is gone now.

As you get older, these stories get more numerous. Doesn’t mean the news ever gets less shocking or painful, though.

My latest one was Shjaway (pronounced “Ja-way”), a sweet hippie yoga dude I knew only very slightly from festival. He had several kids, and a few times he and I talked about pagan parenting - oddly, an unusual topic even among pagan parents - and he did a really neat looking “Angry butterfly” henna design on me. (I wanted a butterfly, but I didn’t want a sweet girly looking one, so he made it all tribal and pointy and badass.) He also bought, collected and sold African hand drums, and after doing my henna, sat down and taught me a few very simple rhythms before rocking out with some of his friends that came by. I felt very honored to be “allowed” to sit and listen to them, since I wasn’t in their social clique at all. Shjaway just died of unknown causes while visiting Mexico with his 13 year old daughter. She found him dead in the shower after getting the hotel management to break down the door because he wouldn’t answer.

I feel weird feeling bad, because so many more people were touched by Shjaway and his life in much more significant ways and for a longer time than I was, but when I found out he died, I still cried.

Just a few months ago, a guy I knew fell off a balcony in a drunken stupor and died. I knew him, and I didn’t know him. He was one of the first members of the student group I was involved in, in college, and he was part of the circle of guys I played computer games with (especially Diablo 2). He was also a friend of my boyfriend at the time. We never went out of our way to see each other, but he always treated me like a kid sister when we hung out. Most of our interactions (and my memories of him) took place online, in the wee hours of the morning while we were clearing out Acts in Diablo 2 and killing cows when we got bored. But after I stopped playing Diablo 2 and broke with the boyfriend, I rarely got to see him at all. When I heard he died I was very sad, but in a rather abstract way. I felt bad that I couldn’t summon up any kind of deeper sorrow, but that’s just how it was.

The only guy I had a crush on in high school was a year older than me. I knew I never had a chance with him - he was way out of my league, and I was far being from the only girl who had a crush on him. He was a gifted musician with an incredible voice. I suspect he knew I carried a torch for him (I don’t think I was very subtle). His girlfriend ended up pregnant his senior year and they married right after graduation. They had a girl, and he gave up his spot in an early admission college music program to join the millitary to support his new family.
Over the years I’d heard little bits about them - they had another boy, he was off in Darfur and Bosnia and later did two tours in Iraq.

Then last year I read his obituary.

He had gone back to the college that accepted him in high school and got a business degree. He volunteered with a local church’s children’s choir. He and his family, now with four children, the youngest of which was roughly 5 months old (the same age as my youngest), were at a picnic for military families in Texas. He was killed while riding a jet ski that collided with a bass boat.

I feel so sorry for his widow and children. I felt like a little part of my past died as well.

There was my sailing trip last winter. I flew to Nova Scotia to be a trainee on a tall ship. We spent about 10 days getting the ship ready, and waiting for two storms to pass by offshore. There were about 30 new people to get to know, including Laura. A couple days out, we hit the third storm. And just when we thought we were through, I woke up to “all hands on deck!” We struck the sails and got the ship turned around. I climbed the shrouds to be lookout. Someone had thrown in a life ring with a light on it. We sailed back to the light.

I thought it was a drill, at first. It wasn’t. We searched for Laura for four days.

I know the feeling. Laura had been on the ship for about a year. Some of the crew had been with her all that time, and you get close very quickly on a ship.

We were quite a news story in Canada, I gather. Laura’s father is famous. We took about three weeks to sail down to St. Kitts, and Laura’s family came aboard. As tough a moment as it was for everybody, for us it was also something of a deliverance. This was the first time back on dry land after a trip that was tougher than any of us expected. It was Christmas Eve.

I did a search when I got home; found a memorial site for her with postings from people who had known her for years. Her family has set up a foundation to raise money for causes that Laura and her mother would have supported. The investigators report still hasn’t been issued. I can’t imaging I’ll ever forget her. I knew Laura for two weeks.

There’s never a very last time.

At my 25th high school reunion (the first one I attended), a guy from the class 2 years ahead of mine showed up in his Navy uniform.

First thought, “Why is Tommy here? This isn’t his class. And why is he wearing his dress whites?” Turns out this was arranged just for me, because my husband couldn’t come to the reunion, and I had asked the organizer to “Pick me up a sailor”. :slight_smile:

We danced a couple of dances and I thanked him for going to the trouble of wearing his uniform in 90+ degree heat. He said he was tickled to do it, and proud that it still fit.

I barely knew Tommy. I’d known his wife, a sweet, beautiful woman (think a young Liz Taylor), and Tommy’s sister was in my class, but we weren’t close either.

He committed suicide a couple of years later, despondent after his divorce. A few years after that, I learned that his ex had died of cancer. I didn’t know either of them well enough, but sometimes that’s just how it goes.

I had a supremely excellent English teacher in my senior year of high school. I didn’t know much about him, but he taught me how to write essays skillfully and the numerous complexities of Comedy and Tragedy. He was also a very funny guy, a very nice guy. My best memory of him is reading the “Rocking Horse Winner,” together and watching him makes faces as the kids all gradually caught the innuendo. He died just a few months ago, but I cant really feel very sad at all over it. The most I can muster up is “vaguely glum.” I want to feel sadder, but I just cant do it. Although, at the moment of typing this I suddenly feel pretty awful, so maybe that counts ^^;

Thank you Chimera and C3 for the songs. I loved reading them both.

And thank you to everyone for sharing.

I was a wee bit drunk when I wrote the OP, so hopefully it’s mostly coherant. I can’t bring myself to read over it again.

It was a fine OP.

As you get older this will happen to you more than once. The death of an almost-friend is kinda weird becuase you think you ought to get more worked up, yet you don’t. Which gets you worked up about that.

That’s normal. You’re doing just fine.

At highschool, one guy didn´t show up for the final exams after the Summer break

-Where´s X?" (I can´t remember his name now)
-He died on his sleep, a blood vessel burst in his brain.
-Oh crap.

I think he was 16 then… :frowning:

I was out of the country for seven years, then returned to the US to pursue an advanced degree at my undergraduate institution. There was a sort of friend/coworker who I got along with well at the University, and I believed she had a pretty big crush on me. There was a time that we might have ended up going out together, but I kind of lost interest. Fast forward seven years, when I returned, I asked how she was, and found out she had died of AIDS two years before.

My neighbors’ kid was about 4-5 when I left home for college. A few years ago, at the age of 15, he was struck and killed by a hit and run walking along the side of the road. My mom went to the funeral and said they all asked about me. That is sort of weird to me since I was such an insular person and never really interacted with any of them. It was also weird because I am so familiar with the place it happened. Incidentally, the father of that boy was killed a few years earlier by the older brother. Shot execution style for not coughing up some money for the kid’s drug habit.

I found out that my High School German teacher died a few years after I graduated. That also felt weird since she was one of my favorites but still didn’t know her that well.

But the strangest one was a young lady I met at my regular sushi bar. Stacy was a regular like me but we had never met since we always came on different days. But that night she was there with her (Way Too Old For Her) boyfriend. She was really excited about leaving the next day with BF for a trip to Thailand. I didn’t think about it again until two weeks later when the newspaper ran a story about a local couple that died of poisonous mushrooms in a hotel room in Thailand. It felt strange because I only met her once but remembered her so well and had hoped to meet her again.