Last week was a rough week.
My younger brother (not named Jon) is one of those kind of guys who has always been a part of a tight-knit group of friends. These guys have been friends since like middle school. On Wednesday night, one of these guys, Jon, died of what we’re assuming is a heart attack while playing basketball with one of the other guys. He was 27 years old.
Besides his age, I find this incredibly sad because:
- He had just moved in with his girlfriend (I can’t even imagine how she feels right now)
- He had recently quit smoking
- He had quit drinking excessively
- It’s almost Christmas time
- He was a really great guy
- One of their friends returned from Iraq 4 days too late… he got home on Sunday
Jon was the first person I know, around my age, to die. Of course there were people in high school who took their own lives or made poor decisions and had accidents – although it was pretty rare in my high school – but he is the first person to die of natural causes. It was one of those moments that made me question reality.
I was especially concerned about my brother. He and Jon used to be roommates, they were close. I realized something yesterday though. The benefit of being in such a tight-knit group is that he has a very strong support system. He also has people he can reminisce with. My brother is a severe homebody, but he’s always had the kind of place where everyone is welcome to just show up anytime… and they do. He has someone besides himself in his livingroom almost every night. It’s helpful to know that the whole group is sitting around his livingroom telling nice stories about Jon. It sucks that they all have to miss him, but I’m glad they don’t have to do it alone.
Jon was a funny guy and I’m glad he won’t be forgotten. But it was far, far too soon.