Death is horrible. It almost feels worse when a young person dies, even though death at an older age still sucks, at least that older person has had more time to live their lives. I am thankful to have known my friend Daniel while I did, even though it was much too short. His big, loving soul made my life better.
Yesterday, I lost a dear friend who was just 31 years old. He had taken great measures over the last few years to really optimize his health. He was morbidly obese for most of the time I had known him, and had a gastric procedure to help him lose well over 200 pounds a few years back that gave him a new lease on life. He loved healthy foods, growing his own vegetables in a backyard garden, was into hiking, and this last year he took up mountain biking, and was going out several times a week to chase the adrenaline rush. He was also an accomplished DJ, playing his EDM and dubstep creations whenever he could, including a few years at Bass Camp for Burning Man. He loved cars and motorcycles and going fast.
Those few things do not even begin to make up the wonderful person Daniel (Fubu, Foobz) was. He was a peaceful, laid back guy with a heart the size of Texas. He genuinely cared about people, and was as sincere in his words as his actions. There was never a day he didn't want to spend time just chilling with you, or celebrating you, or talking with you about something you were passionate about. His joy for life was evident in everything he did. You could spend just moments with him and know all of this, and also know that you were better off for having met him.
As I think about Fubu now, I am beginning to realize all of what made him so special, and it hurts that I took it for granted so often, and didn't celebrate those little things that made him a wonderful human being and friend. I met Fubu the same summer I met Billy, as they were very close friends. The three of us even worked together over that next year. Losing someone makes you wish you could have changed a lot of things about the time you had with them. I wish I could have placed more value on the times I spent with him, and took the effort to have made sure we spent more together.
I am struggling with accepting that he is no longer with us. Maybe my grieving steps spend more time in denial than anything else, I don't know. I feel like at any moment there's going to be a big "gotcha!" and this is all a sick joke that one day we can laugh about.
It just can't be real.
But then I get moments of devastating reality that clogs my throat and weighs down my limbs and crushes me with a heavy tiredness and the truth that he is gone. Those moments are the worst, because I know, for a fact, that he will never be back.
I'm not an overly emotional person, and crying for me is usually a wetting of the eyeballs that doesn't trickle down my face. It's pretty rare for me to have a sob fest, but not having an outward expression of the emotions I feel is not indicative of me not feeling them. The tears I have shed are few, but they leave behind a bitter, salty taste of sadness. Death causes a different kind of heartbreak. It's not the cracked heart, can't possibly go on feeling of losing a romantic interest. Instead, it's a heavy, sorrowful feeling that blankets your whole mind, but allows you to keep living your life. Because when someone you are close to dies, you still have to keep going. Life gives no shits about who you have lost, and demands your attention and continued participation regardless of how torn up you feel, or how sad you are, and how polarizing the difference between your feelings and what you have to do still in everyday life is. God, death sucks. Loss is profound.
We love you, so incredibly much, Foobz. We will miss you every day of our lives, and you will always be a part of us. We will carry on your shining example of loving others and loving life. Thank you for entering my life, and making it better. May your afterlife be full of gnarly trails, beautiful music, and perfectly packed bowls of that plant life you were so fond of.
Rest in peace, Daniel Hauwert 3/16/1983-7/2/2014