R.I.P. A.J.C.

Found out from a close friend today that someone we both knew fairly well in high school had committed suicide last spring. Apparently, he had been struggling with financial and family problems for at least a year. He left a farewell note on Facebook. He was single. He was 43.

A. and I had drifted apart after high school and lost touch. Several years ago, we reconnected via email and learned that we were both pursuing our dreams (Him: comedy, sci-fi, music. Me: filmmaking and playwriting). We added each other to our respective mailing lists and exchanged notes of support every now and then in response to one of our email blasts.

I was a late bloomer to films and theatre and wasn’t involved in either until after graduate school. But you could draw a very straight line between what A. liked as a kid and what he was doing as an adult. During the 20+ years since I’d last seen him in person, he was not only still enjoying the things that he loved as a child, but he was managing to pay (at least some of) his bills pursuing them as a grown-up.

I don’t know much about his life outside his artistic pursuits. I don’t know what could have saved him. I do know, however, that his work touched a lot of people. And that his dogged pursuit of his dreams touched me.

Rest in peace, friend.