Many years ago I lost a special friend. He came into my life at a very difficult time. My father had just died and my brother's friends spent a lot of time at the house over the next several days. I don't know if Doug and I became friends because he was the youngest of these guys, or if it was something else. I do know that over the next 10 years, we did all kinds of goofy stuff.
Doug was a pacifist and a bit of a hippie. But he also enjoyed watching Kung Fu movies. Go figure. I also remember going to many flea markets with him. All in all - one of my favorite people. We could go ages without seeing each other and he'd show up out of the blue. We'd talk about what he'd been up to and move on like he'd never been gone.
He was always seeking, looking for a peace that always eluded him. He studied Baha'i for a while and he also studied Buddhism.
In 1977, Doug moved to Boston. I don't know what happened to him there, (although I have a theory) but he took his own life.
All these years later, I finally met his brother. We talked about memories a bit and I learned that Doug was buried locally. I took a drive today, did some walking around, found his grave and placed a wreath. I have blurred his last name for the sake of the family.
It's a funny thing. I know Doug's not there. But I still spent about half an hour at his graveside, telling him I never forgot him and I never will.
I wonder what he might have accomplished if he had survived that momentary crisis in Boston and lived to see the sunrise the next day. Out of that original group of friends, I know of two PhDs and a successful tech business owner. Not bad company. I can also see Doug as an artist, maybe a teacher. Also good company.
Rest in peace, old friend. I'll talk to you soon.