I found out this morning that my good friend Jim, a friend of mine from my university days, passed away last week. Completely unexpectedly, he passed in his sleep. I am so sad to hear of his passing.
Jim and I met during my first semester of university. I was scared and confused and lost. I hired Jim to tutor me. Jim was two years my senior in our classes, several years my senior in age, and eons my senior in wisdom. I had no idea when I hired this complete stranger how important he would prove to be to my university career and my life.
Jim and I developed a fast friendship, and soon we were meeting much less for tutoring and much more for talking over coffee and drinks or to party with friends. Throughout the course of my university years he taught me so much about life and about people and how to deal with both. He helped me understand and conquer my anxiety and depression, which was much more serious than I gave it credit. He generally made my life, which I thought was miserable, much more bearable and enjoyable. He was a stable, steady force that I could always count on, even after he moved on in his life, following his career to another province.
I will remember so many wonderful things about Jim. In fact, I don't know if I even have a bad memory of him. I can still hear his large, boisterous laugh. I can hear his unwavering voice when he needed to be serious. I can feel his giant bear hug coming right when I needed one.
Jim, thank you so much for being my friend. You helped me become who I am, and you helped me realize that being myself is just perfect. You helped me understand and see the world in a positive light, even when it was so much easier to see the dark parts. You helped me see the dark parts for what they were - just spots that needed a bit of light shone on them. Your wisdom was not wasted on me, and I will continue to live my life trying to teach some of what you've taught me to the others in my life.
I love you dearly, and will miss you very much. I'll see you soon, but not too soon.