Everything I Like Causes Cancer

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2/13/2008

Requiem

Posted by Gwen |

Our friend Phil passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Monday afternoon. We're all still in shock.

Phil was in his early 40's, just two years ago married a beautiful red-headed Irish girl (whom he appropriately called "Red"), and had a great son who was always, always with Phil, at least until he became a teen-ager and realized we weren't cool.

Phil was a larger-than-life guy. He always had the biggest, most genuine smile on his face. As a salve to our souls we pored over old photos at Red's parents last night and none of us were surprised to find that his expression in every one was the same as this. Every single one.

I've been writing this post in my head now for days and haven't been able to put it on paper. I just went over Kimchi Central and I can't say what I need to say as beautifully as Amy did. I wasn't even sure what I was feeling until I read:

Phil and I were close for a period of time, but as it happens, situations change and people change and next thing you know, you've lost touch. That's how I felt last night. I immediately remembered the nights me and LM and Phil would go out to listen to "Double Dutch Bus" and dance and we had such a good time. Then I remembered that the last time I saw him, which was just a few weeks ago, I only said hello and goodbye. It's hard to stay in touch sometimes and I think it's a natural progression to move on as we grow and change. Change is a double edge sword. Life is nothing without change, good or bad, but it does take it's victims.
This is it precisely. There was a time in my life when Phil was an every day presence, a big brother, my boyfriend's best friend. But as life changed, our relationship changed. The last time I saw him was the same night Amy did. And my experience was the same. I said hello, I got a hug, I even spent some time visiting with him, but I wish my last time with him had been different somehow, more poignant, more special.

Phil was a guy you couldn't miss, his boisterous personality filled any room. I still can't believe he's gone, that I'll never get another of those big bear hug greetings that was announced by him yelling, "Gwendolyn!" as if he hadn't seen me in 20 years.

For now we're rallying around one other for comfort and support. LM noted last night that no matter what is going on with individual members of our group, when something like this happens, it's all forgiven, forgotten, set aside, and we come together more like family than friends. The next few days are going to be really hard. We don't WANT to say good bye to Phil, but at least we're doing it together.


We miss you, Philly Cheesesteak.

4 comments:

amy & jeff said...

I really think that last paragraph says it all. No matter what kind of crap goes on, it's never easy to lose a friend, even if it's someone we've grown away from. We have such a huge group of friends and many have been friends since grade school. We have been exceptionally lucky that we hadn't lost one. Phil will be greatly missed by us all.

Whiskeymarie said...

Sorry for your loss, sweets. No matter how long it's been since you last saw someone, it really doesn't make it any easier.

-R- said...

Oh, I'm so sorry.

Gwen said...

WM and -R-: Thank you so much. I feel so lucky to be blessed with the friends I have, including internet ones. You guys would have loved him, too.

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