Love You, Carl

Cheers to you, buddy.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to write this. I already know it won’t be as good as I want it to be, or as good as he deserves, or really convey how I felt about my friend and the role he played in my life or how important he was to me or how much I’m going to miss him or any of those things. But I have to try, because my brain won’t stop trying to write this, and so I’ll try to put it here. My shitty little nothing blog is no place to try to immortalize one of the greatest people I’ve ever known, but it’s all I have, so I’m going to try.

Carl Spicer was one of my friends. The word “friend” does a bad job conveying the role the people who are important to me play in my life. My friends are my family, the ones I have chosen to surround myself with. I love them all, quietly but fiercely. I don’t show much in the way of emotion, generally, so it isn’t something that I usually convey overtly. But those people that are part of my life, that I am lucky to know and be close to, are as important to me as any blood relation.

Carl was a very special person, to me and to everyone he knew. He was kind, gracious, warm, genuine, funny – really and truly, he was one of the best people I’ve ever known. I never heard him say a cross word about anyone – he’d bust balls with the best of them, but I never once heard him demean or complain about anyone. I am sure he lost his temper from time to time – he was Italian, after all – but I never saw it. He was calm and generous in words and deeds. I compare myself to him and I am humbled. He’ll always be a better man than I can be.

He dealt with cancer for a long time, but this past Friday night his fight was over. He was 51 years old. Too young. Just too fucking young. He deserved more and better. I get angry when I think about it and I want to rant and rave and it’s taking everything I have right now to not let myself do that. I’m pissed off that the sun comes up and the fucking world spins and everything looks like it just doesn’t matter that he’s gone and I’m doing a terrible job right now keeping it together and not getting furious again.

I’ll never be able to tell someone who didn’t know Carl what they missed by never meeting him. That makes me want to cry, that I just don’t own the words to impart the man that he was so that a thousand years from now in some way someone who read this could feel a pang inside themselves and feel just the vaguest sense of loss that gnaws at me right now. I envy the people that believe in an afterlife, sometimes. Right now is one of those times. They can convince themselves that it’s a just world and that one day when they pass they’ll be reunited with him. I believe there is no afterlife. I can’t convince myself otherwise. So I’m jealous.

But I will see Carl again, when I dream. Every time I stand on my deck he’ll be there, sitting down with a beer in front of him, smiling. I’ll see him in the eyes of my friends, and I’ll hear his voice echoing from the walls of my house and all the places he went. He made my life better by being in it. Now he’s gone, and my life will always be a little worse because of that fact. But I’m grateful to have known him. I’m lucky. I miss you, Carl, and I’ll always miss you.

The last words he ever said to me were the same words he said every time we parted. “All right, guys, I’ll see you later. Take care.” I wish I could see you again, Carl, but I’ll do my damnedest to take care and make sure that the people I care about know how I feel about them. I want you to do the same thing. Tell the people you love how important they are to you, and look at them and squeeze their hand because you never know if that’s the last memory you’ll have of them.

I love you, Carl. I love you all.

About Alan Edwards

Former cancer caregiver. Husband of the most magical and amazing person who ever lived.

Posted on July 18, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. I forgot to add how accidentally funny he could be. He gave me the greatest blurb for my book of all time, quite unintentionally, and it’s the one I’m proudest of: “I’ve only read one good zombie novel, and that was World War Z.” Thanks, Carl. He’s also right.

  2. Thank you baby, I love you

  3. Thank you.

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  5. Very sorry for your loss, Alan. Carl sounds like someone I’d love to have known.

  6. I can still hear his distinctive voice and hope I always will be able to.

  7. I am so sorry that you lost such a great friend. He sounds like he was a wonderful person.

  8. This is a pretty good summation of things that have been floating around in my head for most of the weekend. I knew Carl (and now I keep finding myself having to rewrite in the past tense, which sucks the most) first through LARPs, almost ten years ago when he showed up to the Xena and Hercules LARP. Living here in Florida, I spend less time with the people up north that I care to, but I try to make the most of the times we get together, and the times I talked to Carl or even hung out for a short while with him among the whirlwind of other stuff was always a good experience. He could bust my balls with the best of them, but there was always the period a while later when he would come by and make sure I knew he was joking. I never took any of it seriously, since as you mentioned, deep down at his very core, Carl was one of the “good guys.”

    I think at GenCon in a few weeks, we should get together, grab some dinner, and raise a few toasts to Carl. I am sure he would have appreciated the thought, then cursed us for not having invited him. ::grin::

  9. I went out with some friends on Saturday because I didn’t want to sit home alone. I told them that a friend had passed away. As I was describing Carl, I realized that over the years that I have known him, I really had not spent all that much time with him. I blurted that out and one of the people at the table thought that I meant that he was one of those people who are hard to get close to. Gods no! Carl always made you feel important when he was talking to you. It was always very clear to me that Carl cared deeply for his friends. I truly envy those of you who, because of geography, got to have Carl as a regular part of your lives. He was truly an excellent human being.

  10. So sorry to hear of your friend’s passing. That just sucks. There’s not much else anyone can say about a tragedy like this. You’re in my thoughts. Cyber hugs to you and Lisa.

  11. To love with something fierce is a great gift.

    I will raise a glass in honor of your friend tonight.

  12. I didn’t know Carl for that long. Not knowing him better is and will always be a great loss for me. Just in the time I knew him, I knew we would be great friends. He was a wonderful person.

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