Remembering Derek K. Miller (@penmachine) #WeLoveDerek

February 24, 2011

Photo credit: Derek K. Miller

May 3rd marks exactly 365 days since my dear friend Derek K. Miller (@penmachine) died. His last post touched the lives of over 16 million people within the first few days after his death, and many more millions after. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year.

I clearly recall where I was exactly 365 days ago, and it’s only fitting that I spent the same evening with the same person: I was sitting at UBC, on JT’s car, sobbing uncontrollably on his shoulders while he hugged me as hard as he could. He said nothing, he only held me in his arms, ran his fingers through my hair and tried to console me and comfort me. My friend was gone, and cancer had yet again triumphed over me.

I wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination Derek’s closest friend. That privilege was bestowed upon several others, whom I was privileged to meet and work with afterwards in the preparation of Derek’s memorial. Those closest friends of Derek (along with my dear friend Airdrie, Derek’s widow), made me feel part of something incredibly special.

In this past year, I have tried as hard as I have been able to, to follow Derek’s and Airdrie’s advice: to take care of myself and to stop pushing myself to the limit. I have taken days off. I have gone away for entire weekends. I have taken blogging hiatus more than once. I hired interns. I’ve let blogging pitches go unanswered.

I wish Derek were here. But that’s an impossibility. But his memory lives in mine, and his digital legacy lives on to teach me (to teach us, anybody who chooses to read this incredibly wise man’s online heritage) how you live to the fullest while loving to the fullest. My dear friend Airdrie, I think of you everyday, but even more so, I think of you and your girls on this difficult day. I think of Derek’s parents and of his extended family. And Air, your strength in the face of pain has taught me many a lesson and I’m proud of you. So proud of you.

Today, I’m thinking of you, Derek. And I love you, my friend.

Related posts:

  1. Remembering @penmachine Derek K. Miller on his birthday #welovederek
  2. In loving memory of Derek K. Miller @penmachine
  3. Happy birthday Derek! (@penmachine)
  4. Happy birthday Derek K. Miller! (@penmachine)
  5. Innovative podcasting interviews – CBC Radio’s interview with Derek K. Miller

Leave a comment

Your comment

CommentLuv badge