I have waited a few days on writing this. Reason one was I was literally too sad and too emotionally drained to think properly. The only thing I could really write was something short and very sad. The second reason is something along the lines of wanting to collect my thoughts because I want to do this properly. Third is I needed it to sink in, so I could be mentally prepared for this. It took some time to get there. I'm not confident that I've fully accepted things, but I know I'm doing a bit better on that front than I was a few days ago. With that in mind, I'd like to take a few moments to commemorate my friend, to share some things about him and send him off to the great unknown with love and respect.
For those of you who don't know, I recently lost a very good friend of mine, EinhanderZwei
. He was a gentle Ukrainian fellow who had a passion for art and game development, along with '80s music, equality, moral standards, gaming in general, among many other things. He was passionate about his friendships, always willing to lend a hand, an ear, a shoulder to cry on, anything. More people than I first considered relied on Sergei. He apparently balanced a lot of other people on his shoulders, and that's even more admirable than what I already knew of him from being a close friend.
Sergei was someone I could share anything with. It's not often you find someone who is completely accepting of you, no matter what your weird quirks or flaws may be, and though he might disagree with you over something, if he was your friend, Ser would accept the good with the bad and love you all the more for it. That was the kind of friend and person he was.
Ser was very smart. Goodness was he ever smart. He was passionate about many social issues like equality, sexism, and other things many people choose to ignore because they don't want to take time to discuss or think about. I greatly admired his enthusiasm for debate on these things, for wanting to help others by changing the outlook on one thing or another.
But most of all, I want to remember how Sergei influenced me. He taught me so many things in our friendship. Sergei was always humble and quick to apologize, even if I realized in retrospect I was being pigheaded about something. He valued me over being right, and that's something I very much want to keep with me, to use in my own life. He was always personable, helpful, and completely sweet. I did not deserve the level of affection he gave, and I'm amazed that he gave this affection to everyone! He had so much love to give, and he was always sharing it.
In his passing, I've felt such guilt over not answering my messages often enough, about not speaking to him as much as I thought about him, about not having a really good "last conversation" to hold onto, about not telling Ser how much I truly loved him as a brother every single day since the day we became friends. But this is a selfish guilt. There are more people than not who experience this guilt when someone dear to them passes, and since I'm not by any means alone in this feeling, it's rather self-involved of me to harp on it, even if I feel that way.
I know that I thought of him every single day, many times, of things I wanted to tell him, ask him, suggest to him. We ran in different circles sometimes but would always make our way back to one another for that time we shared together as friends. I feel like we're not just converging now, but rather, our circles have crashed violently into one another in his absence, and the hardest part is that he's not actually on the other end of this collision to speak with and enjoy the time together.
One of the most difficult parts about this is accepting that he's truly gone, that I will not get notifications of him liking my pictures, I won't be getting some tender message from him asking how I'm doing and sending well wishes, that when I do the same, my messages will not be answered by the brother I loved dearly. The other really tough part is thinking about how much he will miss out on, that he was taken from life so early, and there were many things he left undone, so many things I would have liked to have shared with him and things I know he had meant to do. He'll never finish his game. He'll never marry or have children. He'll never see the sun set or rise again. It's a terribly rough reality to come to terms with, the finality of it all. Another really hard thing is, being a realist in respect to death, I don't know what lies beyond, if anything. I've no idea if we just go when we go and cease to exist forever with no hopes of moving anywhere else consciously or returning to this life later on. Therefore, I accept that there very well could literally be nothing, that death could be and probably is just non-existence. That hurts so much, where I know people of faith hold onto the idea that a loved one is enjoying heaven or the equivalent. I have hope that there is something and that if there is, he's enjoying it to his fullest, that we'll one day meet up again for that much deserved first real hug ever, but I have no confirmation, no assurance, and that is both saddening and terrifying. Regret plays another huge part in the difficulty in dealing with this. I regret arguments. I regret not saying things I wanted to say and sharing things I wanted to share. I regret not making more Sergei time in my life for him. But above all else, the most trying thing to handle is how much I will miss him. Here was a person who was so lovely in so many ways, and he stepped down quite low to be my friend, to care about me and to deliver to me a friendship so above what many people ever get, and I will miss him so much. I'm lucky enough to have more than one friendship like this in my life, but all the other great friendships in the world won't fill the loss of a specific one. Every person is different, and that spot in my heart can't be filled by someone or something else, as it was specifically the Sergei spot. It will always ache for he loss of him, same as the other places in my heart for other friends and family. I miss him so greatly, it truly overtook me when I found out what happened with him. It still takes control when I get to thinking about all of this. I can hardly stay dry eyed for long. Having dealt with death before, I know that eventually, with time, I'll be able to handle this better and function even when feeling the way I do about it, about him, but the missing never goes away. Years after having lost other friends or family, I still hurt and miss them just as if it were mere days ago that I'd lost them, but it does get easier to deal with over time.
And after all of that has been said, I would like to try to move from grief to celebration. I've been expressing those things I loved about Sergei, but I really want to celebrate his life, rather than being stuck forever on his death. I know it's what he'd want. Truthfully, Sergei would be heartbroken over all the sadness and tears shed for him, as he always prioritized others over himself and wanted his friends to be happy. I hope if there's something else after this life where he can observe us, he is honored by our pain. He earned our love by being who he was, but rather than giving him grief to honor his passing, I'd like to offer him celebration.
All the things I've learned from him, been influenced in, given by him... I will forever hold these within my heart and treasure them. They are special things that only he could give and no one and nothing can ever take from me. And wherever I go, as I meet new people, interact with the ones I already know, I give them pieces of me. I influence them, I love them, and in those pieces of me are the collective pieces of those who have loved and taught me, Sergei included. He will never be truly gone, for some piece of him will always be somewhere in someone doing good as he would have done. If you do the same, his legacy of love and friendship will live on indefinitely. It's the best thing we can do to honor his life and show our love and appreciation for him.
I feel for all of those also struggling with Ser's passing. I hope that you are coping well, that maybe some of what I said strikes a chord with you that you can connect with, understand, maybe be strengthened by. If anyone needs to talk, I am free. Just note me, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Many hugs and much love from me to all of you friends, those who knew Ser and those who do not. My next step forward is learning to deal with this better. Expect commemorative art or other things from me. I feel like I need to do that, to make something, to do something in his memory. Those of you who knew him and were close to him, join me in this, so we can celebrate and honor him further, carry on some sort of remembrance with things we create.
To my dear friend: I will always miss you. I will always love you. I am so grateful for the time I was lucky to have with you, and if there is something beyond this, I dearly hope you are having the best time of it and will meet up with you someday in the starlit aether or whatever lies ahead. My love now and always.
As always, thank you for the endless support and kindness. I appreciate you all so much.
All my love,