Thursday, November 17, 2011

J.D. Falk, 1974 - 2011

My old friend and housemate J.D. died on Wednesday night, following many months of fighting a very aggressive gastric cancer. Remarkably, at pretty much this exact time:
21:15 <dr.msk> JD's RFC is published.
21:16 <dr.msk> RFC6449
That was a little weird, even for the already-weird experience of someone dying. (RFC stands for "Request For Comments", and they're documents that define technical standards. Things like the World Wide Web and email are defined in RFCs. They're not as big a deal nowadays, but it's still cool to write one.)

There's a lot to say about J.D.: the anti-spam group he founded has one obituary, and there's an ongoing public memorial page. He was kind, generous, welcoming, affable, open-hearted, and tirelessly put his energies into building and supporting communities of all kinds. He was a remarkable DJ, and was developing into a remarkable maker of electronic music. He was also kind of a flake, and despite the years-long prodding from his wife, he left a lot of not-quite-resolved relationships behind, including with me. But he and I had long ago said everything that really needed to be said, and it turns out that once someone's dead, it's easy enough to let the unresolved stuff matter even less than before.

I could exhaust my supply of synonyms describing him, but read the memorial stories and you'll get the idea. I'm not so good with remembering stories on demand, especially under strain.

I had the difficult privilege of being in the house when he died, and helping the hospice nurse move his body from the fluffy armchair where he spent much of the past six months over to the bed so the crematory guys could pick him up,. I have a lot to say about the whole experience, much as it starts to make things seem about me; but I'm kind of a mess, and I get a lot of interesting stuff out of being a mess.

Good-bye, J.D. Thanks.

No comments:

Post a Comment