Has it really been thirteen years? In some ways, it feels like just yesterday. In other ways, it feels like a lifetime ago. I guess it was a lifetime ago. Your lifetime.
As more years have gone by since you passed, I'm left struggling with a memory of you that seems to be fading. It's not the memory of our friendship or all the amazing times that we spent together that I'm losing. It's the memory of feeling what it was like to have you in my life. I hate this feeling. It scares me. It saddens me. And it depresses me.
The worst part of holding onto the memories isn't really the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories with friends are much more cherished when they're shared. As the writer Haruki Murakami once said, "people leave strange little memories of themselves behind when they die."
I was watching Mandy Patinkin being interviewed by Charlie Rose recently and was fascinated by hearing how every morning, he meditates by reciting the names of all the people whom he loved and whom are no longer alive. He got the idea from a line that Oscar Hammerstein wrote in Carousel: "As long as there is one person on earth who remembers you, it isn't over."
You touched so many lives, my friend, that there is no danger of anyone on earth not remembering you for a very long time.
But you know what, Andy? Ever since I saw that interview, I consciously take a moment every single day to think of you. As I get older, I find myself believing in Einstein and the theory of relativity and how energy never dies. Memories may fade but I'll never forget the feeling of your energy and the sheer force of life that you brought into this world. You'll always be with me in some way or another. I'll never forget you. I promise.
Some people say that "time heals all wounds." That's bullshit. The wounds remain. Over time, in order to maintain some sense of sanity, we form scar tissue and the pain lessens. But the wounds are never gone. There will always be a hole in my heart from missing you, Andy.
You were one of the best friends a man could ever have and though our time together was tragically cut short, I consider myself lucky to have had you as a friend. For that, I will always be grateful.
I miss you, brother. I miss you a lot. May you always rest in peace.
Your friend Pierre
Andrew Golkin, 1970-2001