His name was Chris and he passed away earlier this week. I didn't know him very well. I only found out this morning - and only because it popped up on my facebook feed. Someone who knew him better than me had liked a comment made by someone who knew him better than her on a post that someone who knew him better than her had made. So I'm pretty far down the line as far as personal connections go. But I met him and spoke with him and knew him briefly at university. And now he's dead.
I'm not sure what to do with that information.
On my second week at university I joined the snowsports team and went out with them on their first social of the year. I didn't know anyone else on the team at the time, but it was the beginning of the year and one of the points of the night was to get to know everyone else. The other point was to get drunk. I probably met Chris in the club at some point during the evening, but I mostly just remember getting a taxi back at the end of the night. Everyone was leaving and splitting up in to various groups at the taxi stand, and he said his house was close to my halls so I went with him and another guy. We chatted on the way back and he mentioned that he and his housemate had a case of beer and asked if we'd like to carry on drinking back at his. So of course we both did and we went back to his house and sat in his living room playing stupid drinking games and making daft jokes. Everyone was really relaxed and friendly the whole night and it turned out to be a lot of fun. The sun was up when I finally left.
That was really the only time I spent with the guy. I saw him a couple of other times at team things or in the pub, and we'd say "Hi", but never really spoke much past that.
Other people knew him a lot better than I did, and I'm sure he meant much more to them than to me. To me he's really just someone I spent a night drinking with a few years ago. But he invited me round, and he was really friendly, really funny and really nice and it makes me very sad to think that he doesn't exist any more.