Today would have been my friend George's 29th birthday had he not taken his own life. It's also the day that the Steve Job's biography was released.
I wrote a blog entry about George a while ago which can be found here. George and I did date on and off for a time in High School, but despite things not working out between us, we remained good friends. I've watched as several close friends and family members have died, for a myriad of reasons over the years. A co-worker once died in a horrifying motorcycle accident, several friends and family members have died as a result of cancer, and also a former boss died of a brain aneurysm. No matter the circumstances, parting with someone you are close to is not easy. George was the first person close to me that has committed suicide. The grieving process for someone dying by their own hand is a completely different grieiving process. It leaves more questions than answers.
I stopped by George's Facebook page the other day to see what new photos and memories friends and family have posted. I check in every now and again. I noticed that Ethan posted the video that he had produced of George's photos, artwork and videos that was shown at his memorial. I watched it in full and cried once again. This time I noticed something that I hadn't before. The credits at the end. Apparently, George had written a blog entry on Myspace back in 2006 thanking all of his friends for making an impression on something in his life. The entry can be found in full here.
There was a Michelle on the list of thank you's, although I cannot be sure if it was me. I'm pretty sure it is because I think I'm the only Michelle he knew, but I never questioned him about it or anything like that.
The thank you was "Michelle, for showing me that life is ongoing."
Reading this tore me apart at the seams. How can I be thanked for something that I clearly failed at teaching? Had I made a good impression on him, maybe he'd still be here with us.
This afternoon, I had a dream that I was having tea with Steve Jobs and George. The two of them were talking big picture ideas and I just sat there quietly listening. Then I woke up. Steve and George did have some things in common. They were true innovators and visionaries when came to their work. They were endlessly creative and didn't see things in black and white. They thought differently. I could totally see the two of them having an intellectual conversation over a beverage in the afterlife.
You don't have to take my word on George's creativity, here are a few examples of his work below. (Click little picture for bigger picture pop-out)
RIP Big Guy. Save a cup of tea for me up there.
[EDIT 10:27pm 10/24/11]: I came back to edit this entry because I thought of a quote that's very fitting. It's from Dr. Seuss. "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." I'll try my hardest not to cry any more because George's (and Steve's) lives are over. Instead I will smile that I was lucky enough to have met and be friends with George. I was lucky enough to be a part of the same generation of someone who has changed and revolutionized the world of computers and communication, Steve Jobs.