A Twitter friend and occasional pen pal died yesterday.  It was sudden – he was fine the day before Thanksgiving but then that night, his family rushed him to the hospital.  He’d had a brain aneurysm.  After several surgeries over the course of the weekend, the doctors determined that too much brain tissue had died for him to survive, even with another surgery.  His wife took him off the ventilator Sunday afternoon.

He was unconscious the whole time.  She didn’t even get to talk to him again.  He was around my age, had two kids.

I only knew him through Twitter and a couple of postcards – he was funny, supportive, and kind.  I feel awful for his wife and kids, and I’m trying to help in small ways.

I keep crying, but I know my emotional response is not about him.  It’s not about his family.  (I’d be a better person if it were.)  It’s about my fear.  There were no warnings.  This could happen to anyone.  What if it had happened to John? She didn’t even get to talk to him again.  I think about what his wife is going through and I break down again, and then I feel guilty about it because it’s not about me.  It didn’t happen to me.  And I’m so glad it didn’t happen to me, and whoops there goes the guilt again.

I’ll be fine.  I’ll do what I can to help his wife and family be fine.  And tomorrow I’ll go back to our regular inane programming.


  1. Michelle

    For what it’s worth, I think we always weep for ourselves when we weep for the dead. I think you’re simply more self-aware than most.

  2. Anonymous

    It’s really sad when someone so young, with a family, his whole life before him, dies so suddenly. One of my former students, engaged to another former student, Christina Garber, died instantly from a brain aneurysm when he was only 26. Devastating. I still think about him now and then and what his life might have been like. So tragic.

  3. Dad

    Had a friend and classmate die of an aneurysm freshman year of college. Just went down in his college dorm reception area on Friday afternoon. Inoperable. Died on Sunday. Life is fragile, but we can’t live with the worry of something happening over which we have no control.

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