If you die in Canada, you die in real life
I love xkcd. It is definitely my most favorite webcomic ever. Erik Torstensson was the one to introduce me to it. Living in Canada, this particular strip surely must have made him chuckle. Always when a great xkcd strip went online we’d laugh about it together through instant messaging. Now we’ll never do that anymore… Last weekend Erik died in Canada, and while I still don’t believe it, I’ll have to learn to accept that this means he died in real life.
Erik has helped me through some really rough times, “threatening” even to take the next plane to the Netherlands to straighten me out. I might not even be here to write this if it hadn’t been for him. And there are many with similar stories. He’s touched a lot of lives in profound ways, making each one a little happier. No matter how much life got himself down, he’d always be there to cheer up saddened friends.
If there’s one thing Erik had to teach, it’s that life is what you make of it. That if you follow your ambitions, and don’t give up in the face of adversity, anything is achievable. What you’ll come to regret the most is not acting on your ambitions, rather than acting on them and not getting immediate success. So apply for that job, go on that trip, buy that new gadget, learn something new, do something exciting, visit that old friend. It’ll be one less thing to regret.
Personally, my biggest regret in life is never having met Erik in person, even though I’ve known him for years. This summer I might have been in Canada anyway, so it would have been an excellent opportunity to visit. But why would I need any other reason to be in Canada than to visit my best friend? “There’s always another day” is a poor excuse, because there isn’t always.
Old for his age in wisdom; young for his age in spirit. Never too old to goof around; always too young to die. He will be sorely missed. My best wishes go out to his other friends, his family, and most of all to Jacquie. I hope you share Erik’s strength to bounce back from anything life throws at you, even something like this.