Yesterday a friend of mine died.

Eric was forty years old, and had finally started to get his life back together again after many years of psychiatric difficulties, most noteably schizophrenia. He had finally gotten on some proper medication, had just started his first job in more than ten years, and blam.

He posted in his LiveJournal the day before he died that his head felt like it was full of liquid. He thought he was coming down with something.

What he was coming down with was a brain aneurism. For those of you not in the know, that's a burst artery in the brain. They are generally not detected until they burst, and are almost inevitably fatal.

Eric had two in a course of hours. He died yesterday morning. If Eric is like any of the too many (seven) friends I have had die from one of these things, his last words were probably about what terrific pain he was in. What a shitty way to die.

Eric makes eight aneurism related deaths among my friends. I know far too many dead people, more than 50 last time I checked. This is what happens with people who live hard, they die a lot.

I sometimes think that I'll probably have an aneurism, too, just because i have known so many who did.

I remember my friend Peter Pappas, when I was seventeen, he and I and our crowd of friends were walking across the Charles River on the Longfellow Bridge when he announced that his head "hurt like a motherfucker". He made it to the Boston side of the bridge and collapsed, convulsing and vomiting. I rode in the ambulance with him. He was dead on arrival, and I got to be there to break the news to his family. I never want to do that again.

So Eric is dead. I don't think I mentioned, I've never met Eric face to face. He was a person I knew from the Callahan's channel on IRC's Undernet. He was kind, and witty, and thoughtful and intelligent. He was a good person. He was my friend.

Death sucks. A forty year old man is gone, the rest of his life gobbled up in a flash, because his brain had a weak point, like a weak tire, and it blew out.

I am trying to make sense of it, and it just isn't happening.