I had a friend I never knew. He never knew me, either. His on-line name was Brainhell (BH) and I read his blog (http://brainhell.blogspot.com/) for years. He drew me in. His writing was compelling -- smart, witty, thoughtful, humorous, tart, cutting, truthful, loving. I grew to love him. No, really. The photo above is what I saw each time I logged on and read his words and the comments of the Village who loved him. I could click on any post in the archives and find something to make me think, laugh, cry, or gasp. This was my among favorite blogs.
I do not know his name. Until today, I never saw a picture of him. But, I have thought of him every day since I ran across his blog about 4 years ago.
BH transitioned last night. His body finally released his spirit, 1481 days after he was diagnosed with ALS. It is a huge loss to me and to all who read his blog. It is the worst of loss to his wife and two small children. He leaves a large hole in the lives of the friends who knew him for 15 - 30 years and often posted to his blog. For me to think of his sister, who wrote to the blog with him, makes my heart physically ache.
And, still ... this release was really needed. The ALS had robbed him of so much. In the death of his physical body, I am sure he has regained all he lost, and so much more. I wish I knew what he now knows.
Below is a painting done from a photo of BH and his wife on their honeymoon. I pray his spirit now knows the freedom and peace that this picture portrays.
Paddle on, beloved Brainhell. You will be missed, but never forgotten.