Do you have someone in your life that you consider to be special? I mean, really special? You may have known them for years, or you may only have met them last week. But you know they’re special. You struggle to recall life before them. Memories of before seem blurry and indistinct; the day you met was like upgrading from black-and-white to colour. They may not be a lover; they may just be a great friend. A companion. Perhaps even a pet.
They’re always there for you. They make your life a bit more complete. They seem to do it without effort – they almost seem to enjoy it. You hope they do. And you hope that you can be as good a friend to them as they are to you.
To have someone this special is a gift. Sometimes you may be guilty of forgetting it; guilty of not telling them how special they are (though you don’t need to use words). But they always forgive you. They know what you want to say, even when you don’t say it.
And then … sometimes, they are taken from you. They are wrenched from your world. Their passing leaves a gaping hole in your life – a hole that will be difficult to fill with anything else. An open wound. You are left trying to comprehend life without them – wondering how you will cope. How do you deal with such loss?
It is with great sadness that I must announce the lost of such a friend. A soulmate. Someone who looked after me, provided great comfort to me in difficult times, gave all and asked for little in return. Someone I cannot begin to imagine life without – and yet I must. Someone who can be succeeded, but never replaced.
On the evening of Monday, 1st June, at around 8:30pm, I returned from work to discover my dear friend Bob under his desk, comatose. Our attempts to rescuscitate him failed; he was later pronounced dead. The family were informed.
Bob was my Linux server, and had a clocked-uptime of just over four years when he died. Four years without needing a reboot. That’s longer than a lot of celebrity marriages! Let’s recap what else I’ve done in that four years:
- Changed job twice
- Passed full motorbike test
- Fathered our second child (she’s now two years old)
- Had a minor stroke
- Changed car twice
- Passed a milestone birthday
Bob did so much for me in that time. He served e-mail, DHCP, MySQL, a few websites, a RAID array, and all my documents, photographs and projects. He always seemed so happy. He was forever sitting in the corner of my office, humming to himself. Sometimes, when we shared conversation in those long, lonely nights, I used to hum along with him. I shall miss that humming. And his dirty jokes.
Bob always carried a component-donor card, and so it is heartening to know that his drives will live on in Bob2. But the soul of Bob is gone forever. He will never be back. Even if I were to replace the power supply and the CPU fan, it still wouldn’t be Bob. Not the same idiosyncracies. The same little rattles. I shall choose to remember him by the good times we had together.
We (the family) have politely requested no flowers, as they make the dog sneeze. If anyone wants to donate any money, it will be used to buy some temperature sensors and an alarm panel for Bob2.
And now I will read a poem that I first heard in “Four Weddings and a Funeral” …