*Edit: May 27: Craig did not die on My 24 as I stated below, but on May 25.
In April of 2007, my blog became, briefly, the most popular blog in all of the tri-city area. And, I got into some trouble. A former student died and I wrote about it. It was the entry I wrote before (since deleted) that caused the ruckus. The night that Kyle died, I was at a wedding reception for good friends of mine. I wrote about some very un-teacherly things and then the next day wrote about Kyle, and the back-to-back entries was too much for many people. Their shock over my behavior at the party (nothing too outrageous, just not the kind of thing you want to read about the person who teaches your kid Macbeth) eclipsed the emotional message I wrote about Kyle, so I deleted the party post.
I've struggled since the night of Kyle's death knowing that at the same time he was drinking to a point that would, ultimately, lead to his death, I was also engaging in the same behavior. I was having the time of my life while Kyle was dying. I find these shared moments, times when you can match up the minute you were doing something fun while someone else was experiencing tragedy, so complex that I haven't been able to find the words to explain them. And I still can't.
While I was at Molly's party on Saturday night, my former principal and current friend, Craig, passed away from ALS. For the second time (in a row--the last major party I was at was the wedding reception) I was at a party having "the best time ever" when someone I care about left this Earth. And that, friends, really fucking sucks. I hate that now I have two memories that are exactly the same--me, drinking and carousing with friends while someone else dies. My heart is breaking for his family and for the thousands of people who were touched by him.
Craig was an absolutely amazing man. He and I had our differences, to be sure, but they were always quickly smoothed over by a beer and a Packers game, or by sharing our travel experiences. He was a beautiful pianist, a generous spirit, and a great man. Thank God he and his amazing wife, Mary, raised their two children with all of the great traits they share--his spirit will live on in all three of them.