I'm 24 and I haven't experienced much death in my life. I have friends who have had 8-10 friends and family members die before they were 18, not me. My life has been defined by people that I meet, not loose.
My friend Eric, who lived in San Francisco, died Jan.3. I only got to know Eric over a three day period, while staying with his house mate Gabe. Eric lit up whatever room he walked into with his kind heart, jokes, and bright spirit.
I got the joy of celebrating Eric's 30 (or 31st birthday, can't remember now) with him and eating a beautiful and delicious brunch made by him to celebrate the occasion, with the rest of the pilgrims who had come to stay at the Fair Avenue house for the San Francisco Bike Festival. At one point during the meal Eric motioned to a box in the corner of the room "There are fresh California nectarines in that box, help yourself." "Are you sure? I'll eat the whole box if you let me, those aren't in season for another month in Utah" I said. He answered "If they aren't in season where you live, eat more! They were just picked a day or two ago" I told him I didn't have a way to repay him and he answered with "Just tell us your stories, thats all we ask for". Eric truly embodied the phrase "Food for thought" feeding people all over San Francisco in exchange for a conversation.
The night before I was to depart San Francisco I was packing up my things and Eric said to me "Don't forget to take some fruit with you". I ate nectarines the entire train ride back to Utah.
Eric's Kindness to the people around him will never be forgotten.
Although I am sad to have a friend taken at such a young age, I am grateful to have known him.