A friend of mine, Rory Root, died early this week due to surgical complications. Most of you didn't know Rory, who owned a greatly respected comic shop in San Francisco; I never saw Rory's shop, but I have heard good things about it from many who have.
I've known Rory for years, because we tend to cross paths at DC retailer meetings, and before that we would see one another at distributor conferences and the like. Rory was enthusiastic, dedicated, intellectual, eclectic, and multi-talented; we shared many of the same interests in books, in SF, in music, and (of course) in comics.
We also shared some health problems, and Rory had told me just a few months ago in Austin that he was making real efforts to improve his health. "Growing up is tough, isn't it?" he said to me with a laugh as we shared dinner and conversation.
Yes, growing up is tough... and loss is tougher.
I didn't speak to Rory as much as I'd like, but we frequently "conversed" in various forums online; I will miss his insightful observations, his even-tempered commentary, and his optimism.
But most of all, I'll miss him.
... I'm not afraid of death; we've met before, and I know there's nothing there to fear. I don't hate death, because I've seen the comfort he has brought to those in unending pain and suffering. I'm jealous of death, though, because so many who I have known and loved now spend all their time with him, and I miss them so...