Thanks to the wonder of the internet, I found out that somebody special to Lauren had died on Saturday. I knew it was a friend named Matt. Since we shared so much of our life with the same people, I started wracking my brain for mutual friends named Matt. But we were at the in-laws and I just didn't have the time to search and figure it out. Yesterday was full of work and my brain was just fried. I thought about it and wondered about it, but just couldn't figure it out. And then this morning it hit me.
And everywhere I looked it was there.
I didn't know Matt that well. I only remember meeting him once or twice. And I can't tell you when I actually met him in person for the first time. I know it was at camp. And because of our camp connection we both knew of each other. And the first thing he did after the awkward introduction "you're Matt right? yeah, you're Sandy?" he gave me a big hug. That's just the person he was.
I have a lot of roundabout memories of him through others, livejournal debates, and other indirect interaction. But the only memory I have of personal interaction with him is that hug. And somehow that fits. It didn't matter that we were just sort of "friends-in-law" and that we knew of each other. He hugged me. And not just the polite side hug, but a full on embrace. He embraced me, literally and figuratively. That's how he approached everything and everyone he encountered - he embraced them!
I always meant to e-mail him. I wanted to talk to him about church stuff. I wanted to get to know him better. But I just never did it. And now I am trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I won't get the chance now. It is making my head hurt. I feel somewhat guilty for being sad and grieving his loss. Because I didn't know him the way so many others did. His death didn't leave that gaping hole in my life. In many ways, I am grieving for my friends and I am grieving for myself. I am grieving for my own lost opportunities. And to me that is just not the right reason to grieve. It is selfish. And if I'm trying to take a tip from Matt, it's not what I should be doing.
If you didn't get the chance to know him, I'm sorry. Because even though there were times I disagreed with him and there were times he irritated me, he was one of the best people I ever got to know.
He was (and is and always will be) the best of the best