Letter for Ken, 10th anniversary

share a coke with Ken

Hi Ken,

Tomorrow morning I’ll be working in an office a little more than half an hour from the office where I got the call a decade ago. Glenn pinged me, over ICQ I think, asking me to call him. I was annoyed with him about something, I can’t remember what, and didn’t want to call, but finally sensed enough urgency from him to call him long distance, and heard the words that you had died the night before.

Details were sketchy, but would be ironed out over the next day or so. You were driving home from work in Gatineau, it had rained, and two police cruisers were headed in the opposite direction. They were responding to a call and maybe driving a bit too fast for their long arcing right turn and maybe slid out into your lane where the first cruiser hit you head on, killing you instantly.

To this day, I wish I could connect with the officers and let them know I forgave them long ago, and that it was just a horrible accident. But that still doesn’t bring back one of my closest friends. I’ve tried reaching out to reporters who wrote your story, none of them ever wrote back.

Your cousin Heather sent me an Email tonight, thanking me for writing these letters to you, and to assure her that other people in the world cared about you as a person. I connected with Rankin and then Melissa years ago but can’t find any of the messages we shared back and forth about you.

The world has changed so much, and I wonder what it would be like with you still in it. Would you still be working at the radar station? Would you still be tinkering with web development? Would I have ever convinced you to go to church?

I’ve lost touch with most friends back in Ottawa, but you always seemed like one of those people that could pick up the phone and carry on like no time had passed. And that might be the hardest thing, because it’s hard not to carry regret about our last conversations. I’ve tried to be financially generous to friends who need it in a pinch and know of one friend who stopped talking to me after helping him out; I think it’s the embarrassment of having to ask for help and then not having the means to pay it back.

It was pretty great getting a random Email from your cousin, reminiscing about her visit to Ottawa and spending some time with you, and the shock of losing you so quickly.

I’d love to make it out to where they laid you to rest and pay my respects. One day, buddy.