I learned this afternoon that my online friend HP died of a heart attack on Sunday, October 10th. Best I can tell, his last comment was at 9:38 A.M. on Saturday, October 9th on his own blog. While his blogs were almost unfailingly political, the last two were about bullying. He’d been distressed by the suicide of Tyler Clementi, the young Rutgers student who committed suicide after his roommate and a cohort filmed Tyler with a webcam having sex with another man. Then posted it on YouTube.
It caused HP to think about his own youth and experience of being bullied, and he did two posts…his last two…about it. They were painful, and honest, and searching.
But HP was the cliche that the best revenge is success. He was a university professor, apparently beloved by all his students. On the side, he was in a band, and last played on October 2nd. He had a family, and recently drove his daughter across the country to go to college.
He was a relatively new “friend” for me, but I feel as much grief as I would if I had known him personally. He was a kindred spirit. I’m in shock. I can barely say more at this point. Maybe later.