A close friend of mine named Jordie passed away last week and I just found out a couple hours ago.

Any other introductions I type would eventually wind their way to this point, so I thought I’d punch myself in the stomach and just start with it.

Tanya called to let me know. I hadn’t talked to her in years. She called the Operator in Toronto to find my number so she could let me know.

Let me know that Jordie had committed suicide. He hit his lowest point and hung himself.

Her voice was a trickle of vocal ups and downs punctuated with tears, then memories washed over me because Jordie’s really gone. Minutes later, my stomach’s tightening, my lips are going dry and the tears are welling up.

Adventures I had with Jordie… the kind of Zub Tales that I relish telling people from time to time, making them laugh until they cry. Tonight instead is big wracking sobs, sucking in the hurt until you feel like you’re going to burst.

Jordie and I turned Lake Louise upside down, we danced, we drank, we sometimes waxed philosophical. Staring out into the stars over that ski weekend, he told me to burn that sight of Banff into my mind and I did. It’s still right here…

I talked to him about my nerdy dreams in comics, animation and the RPG business. Funny when you look at what I’m doing now. Life grabbed me by the scruff of my neck, hurtled me around the country and I lost touch with him. Out of sight, out of mind… Some of you who read this probably feel the same way about communication with me now. Always busy or making excuses, never enough time for anyone or anything.

I don’t feel guilty about his decision to die. The pain cuts deep because I knew a great guy and shared his friendship for a while.

And now he’s gone. No double-tap punches, Ecstasy-laden raves or Strongbow will bring him back. Tanya and I used to worry that he would never settle down with a girl or slow down enough to appreciate the things around him. We were right.

You chose wrong, Jordie. But I salute you as the man I knew, not the one you became.

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