It's been a blurry sort of week, ending in an impromptu whiteout. The wet snow falling this morning was followed by hours of pellet ice plinking against window panes. Each time I stepped outside my office the sky had relocated itself on the pointlessly shovelled sidewalks.
It's not sufficient to say things have been out of sorts this week. It's worse than that. I stare blankly at the computer screen and feel unfit to write about it. Julia bravely attended the matter in a post entitled "evil tidings," and that relieved me. But then she went and deleted her entry. I am not equipped for writing about death, much less suicide. Parking tickets and bathroom phobias are more my level.
A genuinely wonderful young man is dead, and I mayn't merely prattle on about eyes pasted to toilet seats.
But how does one address the matter? Certainly not by comparing the passing of the young man to such a pedestrian occurrence as the death of a goldfish, as was done yesterday after the panikhida in the chapel. I know, I know: the whole seminary is grieved and confused about what to say. Eric's death is hopelessly complicated, pointless, and wrought with legal intrigue and personal sorrow—it is hard to know what to say.
But I've had it with standing in on things that don't work. I left half-way through the sermon and went over and laid on the floor of my office and cried. I didn't even know Eric besides an occasional "hello" (and, well, as my "friend" on Friendster). The vast majority of people on campus knew him better than I. But the circumstances of his death bring up my own not-so-fond memories of He Who Will Remain Unnamed meddling in my business, making me feel confused, dishonorable and ultimately (thankfully) indignant. And I was crying not for just Eric, or for me, but because how easy it is to lose our balance, trust people who are untrustworthy, and give up hope.
Tomorrow is Eric's funeral. The snow pelting against the window has halted the progress of at least one carload of students headed to Illinois for the service. But other cars take their place, including that of spontaneous Jenny with Natalie in tow. Meanwhile, I sit here and listen to the snow, and end this with Eric's own words used to describe himself on (er, yes) Friendster:
I'm just a regular guy who gets caught a little too much in his own head. I need other people to get me out of there. I believe there is a God and I'm just trying, not very successfully most of the time, to figure out what he wants me to do from one second to the next. I don't fit most categories on most levels, but I'm okay with that. I think we live in an amazing world and there's so much beauty in it if we're just willing to see it. I like to just walk or drive and astound myself by the fact that I'm conscious at all. Life is a precious gift. I just have to remember that...