This week, I have been struggling with how to best put into words what one friend has meant to me. I know that no matter what I write, it won't be worthy.
I met Eric in early March on my second night on the town while I was in Hong Kong. We were introduced to each other by another mutual friend, and proceeded to have a fun time during the Hong Kong Sevens rugby matches -- at least we tried to find a place where we could watch on TV. We hit it off, especially since we had both relocated to Hong Kong during the same week and we were both from New York. He had met a friend of my friend's and we all easily formed a group to explore and enjoy Hong Kong together during the months that followed.
The next day, we went to Macau for the first time. It was during the ferry ride back that I had my first insightful conversation with Eric. We shared stories about our pasts, our families, our loves and our hopes for the future.
He helped me with my nephew's Flat Stanley project -- cheerfully posing for pictures and identifying cool Hong Kong spots to showcase.
I never saw Eric without a smile on his face. He was the most upbeat, confident and happy individual I have ever met - I know that this may sound cliched, but it is so very true. His love for his dog, Guinness, clearly extended to his love for life, his friends, and his family.
I'm probably not even making any sense here, but nothing this week has made any sense to me. I was informed by my friend earlier this week that a tragic accident happened in Hong Kong last Sunday. I will not get into the details here, but if you want to read about it, you can check out this site (to get a sense of how loved and special he was, read the comments after the article). All I will say is that the world has truly lost one of its greatest individuals. My heart goes out to his family and friends back in New York, as well as to all of the friends that he made during his short time in Hong Kong.
Eric -- I was so fortunate to have met you. I love you and hope that our paths cross again someday.