Aaron Hawkins wasn’t someone I knew well, even by blogospheric measures where someone you’ve never met in person can be a close friend. He and I reside – “resided” in his case, dammit – in the same general neighborhood of blogtopia. You know this neighborhood; it’s where you find lefty political blogs that aren’t so much about the swift boats and the election horserace as they are about race and gender and wealth and culture and the like. Heck, if you’re a blogger and you’re reading this post, odds are you live in this neighborhood too.
(Aaron and I also shared a geeky interest in comics and in Buffy – Aaron’s blog is a place where several different blogospheric neighborhoods overlap).
But although we blogged in the same broad neighborhood, we weren’t part of each other’s daily routes. We linked to each other’s posts a handful of times over the years – passing each other in the street, nodding in friendly recognition. I was more than normally pleased when Aaron linked to me, because he was so much better a writer than me and because he made it seem effortless.
What can I say? He was a damn good neighbor, and a better than good writer. I didn’t know him well – hell, you could make a good argument that I didn’t know him at all – but I envy those who did. The world is better off because he passed over it, and worse off now he’s passed beyond it.
P.S. If you’re of a mind to leave condolences, this thread on Aaron’s blog is the place.
I miss him so much. It still hasn’t really hit me yet, I can’t bring myself to delete him from my friends list still hoping that he’ll sign on and we’ll have another conversation that made my dismal days something to look forward to rather than just another day to dread and pass through as quickly as possible so I could go back to being unconscious.
A lot of people don’t know but Aaron was a veteran of the first Gulf War and was suffering from Gulf War Syndrome as well as Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome. You just can’t put a man like Aaron in a situation like that and not expect it to scar him for life.
He was so deeply wounded and such a caring human being. I’ll mss my friend so much. Thank you, Ampersand for acknowledging his touch, his legacy, the goodness that Aaron spread so far and wide. May we all follow in his footsteps when we can: he gave us such high standards for which to strive.