Farewell, Fellow Traveller

This is one of those non-gaming posts that I have long been threatening to write. I wish that the circumstances were different.

Last Sunday I got the dreadful news that a friend of mine had passed away. Ed was a tabletop buddy from the old days hanging out at Matrix Games, and while we were never “best buds” we did have a great deal in common and there was never any scent of acrimony between us despite the game store drama that inevitably came up in those parts, to which I was often a party, alas. Ed and I were also the only people in the area who were fans of Traveller, and we talked that up a great deal over the course of years.

Ed was one of the most naturally upbeat people I’ve ever met. I can’t recall that he ever spoke a genuinely unkind word about anyone, even though his wit was sometimes biting. He was a incorrigible practical joker; it wouldn’t have surprised me if the whole thing had been a put-on. Of course it wasn’t, but I would have been simultaneously outraged and overjoyed if it had. Everybody who wasn’t an irredeemable douchebag liked and respected Ed for his mild and genial nature, warm personality and penchant for never taking himself too seriously.

Ed was only 45. There were no indications that I was aware of that he was in ill health in any way. It was completely unexpected by everyone. I’m told it was quick and painless, and Ed made sure he’d leave a legacy, donating his body to research and medicine so that others would be helped now that he’s gone. Predictably, he even left us with jokes and non-funereal music. I’m afraid I’ll never be able to listen to Starship Trooper (Yes was another love shared by Ed and I,) the same way again. And maybe with perspective that will seem like a good thing.

This past weekend we drove up to the Cleveland area for the memorial service. The ceremony was lovely but I’m afraid I myself was more than a bit overwhelmed by it. It’s taken me a couple of days to get this out, and that’s why. I’ll miss Ed Cole. Cleveland gaming and Cleveland television, the field in which Ed worked and in which he was respected by all for his charm and professionalism, will miss Ed Cole. I wish Meredith, his wife, all the best moving forward, and I’m glad that she got the time that she did with him.

5 responses to “Farewell, Fellow Traveller

  1. Death is nothing at all.
    It does not count.
    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    Everything remains as it was.
    The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
    Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
    Call me by the old familiar name.
    Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
    Put no sorrow in your tone.
    Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without effort
    Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
    There is unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just around the corner.
    All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost.
    One brief moment and all will be as it was before.
    How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting, when we meet again.

  2. Really sorry to hear about your loss. Something about maturity that really focuses on who is important to you and why.

    And Ethic…a poem, really?