It's been days since, now. I've been through the wake, the funeral, the repast, and the various informal gatherings, and I'm still having trouble coming to terms with the fact that my 28-year-old friend is gone, way, way too soon.
Eric was the nicest person I've ever met. That's not exaggeration in light of events, either -- I said it when he was alive. That's why I chose him to stand next to me on my wedding day. He always put everyone else ahead of himself, and everyone else around him benefitted from his attention.
In 1993, we graduated from high school, and, soon after, Eric joined the Coast Guard. He served for many years, and eventually, only within the past few months, got a job in Rhode Island wiring powerboats. We went to our ten year reunion last month, and it looked like we were finally going to have some quality time to spend together in the immediate future.
I just don't have the words to express how I feel... Eric planned his Christmas party, and I fervently wish he had gotten to attend it.
We're all going to miss him terribly.