My friend is gone... and I just found out.

I’m really bad about contacting my long distance friends, apparently. Really bad.

I found out yesterday that a friend I had in a different city died this past February. He was diagnosed with cancer after Christmas, and and was gone a month later. I’m still kind of stunned by it. I haven’t talked to him in over a year. During this time, he remarried and had another kid. And I didn’t know about it. I’m really bummed out by losing a friend, but I’m also really mad because I never even bothered to send him an email or anything.

John is the only guy I know who, during the normal course of eating a piece of cake, got some on his ear.

He could get a hangover just by looking at a beer, and more than once threatened my life when I mentioned that I never get hangovers.

He helped me with computer stuff frequently, something I need a lot more than I thought.

Once for his birthday, some friends got him a box full of superballs and after hours of drinking and destroying the host’s house, we took them up to the top of Straight St. and tossed the whole box down the hill.

Tonight, I’m going to spend time trying to back in contact with everyone I haven’t talked to in a while. Go call your friends. You never know when it will be too late.

Oof…very sorry to hear about this.

I used to work for my hometown newspaper. It was a very small operation – much of the time it was just myself and the owner/editor/publisher. Years ago I moved on, careerwise, but I’d still pop in every now and then to say hello.

After awhile, I stopped going over there. It was always something I meant to do “when I got a chance”, but I just never got around to it. That got even worse when I moved an hour away.

About two years ago, I found myself near his place with some time to kill, so I thought I’d drop in and have him meet my new newborn daughter. He was happy to see us, and we talked for awhile. When I asked him how he was doing, he responded “I’m dying”. Unfortunately, I took that in a very “Oh geez, I’m dying ovahere” kinda way, so I just brushed it off. A month later, he was gone.

Every time I think of him, I’m always so thankful I got that one last visit in.

I’m so sorry about your friend.

But he has a soulmate, also named John, in my office. The perceived similarity is scary.

I’m sorry for your loss, sending supporting thoughts your way.

I do an OK job keeping in touch. If I lose touch with a friend it is because they haven’t put in at least a token effort to stay in touch. I call most of my friends at least once a quarter and indeed, only a few less than that once a month.

An aunt died last July just a day or two short of her 90th birthday. No one thought to tell me for five months.The only relatives I have left are a couple of aunts and uncles in their 80s in California. We exchange cards and news at Christmastime. I have heaps of cousins whom I don’t know.

We’d sent the aunt a new Thailand calendar, too, but by coincidence it was someone other than her children who finally told us, about the time we sent the calendar. Hope the cousins who got the calendar enjoy it.

For non-family, I stay in close contact with a number of friends from 20-30 years ago. No one from my high-school days or earlier. The Internet makes it easy.

It must be doubly hard to have lost a friend in those circumstances - it must be shocking to not even have known about his marriage let alone his illness. Of course friendship works two ways and I suppose he could have been the one to contact you. I’m going to follow your lead and contact a couple of people I’ve been meaning to for a while now.

Well said. I’m inherently bad at keeping up with people, so this is just the sad motivation I need.