I’m angry and confused. Death has never hit this close to home with me before. Anders was one of my best friends, a frequent guest at my table. I knew him for over 20 years. And now he’s dead at 45, apparently of a heart attack. I’m stunned and full of disbelief.
By profession an engineer and a programmer, Anders was also a prodigious traveller, a perennial student, an avid reader and a music lover. “Heart attack at 45” conjures the image of some hard-partying coke fiend. But Anders lead a quiet, even prim, bachelor’s life and liked to play badminton.
I knew this guy from my mid teens on! We met through late-80s on-line forums and the Tolkien Society, we had a band during my undergrad years, we used to meet and jam on our guitars and perform at my parties, and in recent years he was one of the most dependable names on my list for gaming night. How can he just be gone without warning?
A buddy of ours once likened Anders to a public-school educated administrator in the British colonies. Tall, slim, blond and blue-eyed, always neat and clean-shaven, balding early, a little reserved, not a loud guy. His demeanour was boyish and asexual, cozy and down-to-earth; like tea and toast and your favourite slippers.
He had this funny combination of naïveté and much knowledge gathered by study and travels. Just recently, at a Dungen gig, he said with this priceless absence of irony, “You know, I’m starting to think that I’m not a Christian after all”. Well, duh, Anders – is there a single line of one or the more common Creeds that you’ve ever believed in? I think he’d never actually asked himself the question before.
And now he’s been taken from us by some faceless mindless happenstance of cardiovascular plumbing – from his parents and sibs and his sister’s kids, and from his many friends. Just gone, gone away to nowhere, one-way ticket, no goodbyes. I can’t get my head around it. I miss him.