Today is my friend Chris’ birthday, but I’m not going to call and wish him a good one. I’m not even going to send him a lousy e-card. I’m not mad at him or anything. Or maybe I am. You see, Chris died on December 30.
Since we met in 1999, he referred to me as his co-worker, his “sort of” boss, and his work wife, but it meant the most to me when he called me his best friend. I’ve always had friends, and even some I considered my best friend, but I don’t think any of them considered me theirs.
We did a lot of fun stuff together, including going to the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo (just making it back across the border before the northeast blackout of 2003), seeing David Wilcox in Gage Park, and going to YukYuk’s with our partners and a few other friends.
We rarely saw each other since we stopped working together, but he was always just an email or a phone call or a Facebook message away. And now he’s not. But thanks to Facebook’s “On This Day” feature, every once in a while I get to read one of his old comments and just for a moment, it’s like he’s still here.
I’ll always be thankful for his friendship and support, and have fond memories of his outrageous sense of humour and the vast amount of trivia he had stored away in his brain.
I was truly honoured to give the eulogy at his funeral, which I ended with this poem (source unknown):
Our joys will be greater
Our love will be deeper
Our lives will be fuller
Because we shared your moment
Happy birthday, buddy.