Passing… RIP Christopher Glandorf
An old friend from high school died rather abruptly Sunday morning. We weren’t terribly close, but not from lack of interest in common. He was the first friend from high school I really reconnected with online. It turned out that we shared a neighborhood for years. We also kind of time-shared a stool at the Northside Tavern. We kept such disparate schedules that we almost never were able to hook up for that beer we often planned on quaffing together. The Hellions have curtailed my late night life to once in a blue moon staying out late and missing The Daily Show, whereas Glando’s night was often just warming up when Colbert comes on And we ended up sharing a lot of the same friends, once again on a rotating schedule. He loved the Reds and the Bengals like any good west side boy should and we would often trade Facebook jabs during a game, Chris always earnestly optimistic to counter my analytical cynicism towards the home teams chances.
I suppose that we all need to get used to this, this losing parts of the world. Time is the great thief, stealing bits of life away until it finally gets to you. I know it seems like corny sitcom sentiment, but for a guy at the beginning of his 40’s, ensconced in middle age despite never actually growing up, this is practically mid-life crisis rocket fuel. High school was 25 years ago, even though the 16 year old in me still wakes in the night panicked, convinced that he has forgotten an important assignment that he is certain will lead to failing chemistry… (I did fail a semester of chemistry…my old nemesis math did me in). The grey hairs are multiplying, the joints ache more each morning. No matter what your outlook, regrets will come to gnaw on your soul, leaving sadness and doubt behind.
I regret not hooking up with Chris more. And now it’s too late to fix that. One of the things that makes you an atheist is a lack of belief in the supernatural. I don’t believe in a next life where I can make up for the things I missed in this one. My Dad… my Uncle Al (not this Uncle Al, but just as cool), Glando… many others. Eventually everyone will be stripped away from us.
And that’s OK… It’s not a happy thought, but it’s the way the universe works to the best of our knowledge, and there’s a certain comfort in that. This is the one great universal truth. Everything dies… everyone eventually goes bust.
I’ll end on a quote from evil Atheist Sam Harris that I have always loved.
“Consider it: every person you have ever met, every person will suffer the loss of his friends and family. All are going to lose everything they love in this world. Why would one want to be anything but kind to them in the meantime?”
― Sam Harris, The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason
Whether he ever read those words himself, Chris exemplified them. This week the results of all that kindness will gather and remember because that is all we can do now… I hope what little I can add will be enough.