My friend Mike Hoffman died a few days ago. He was 36 years old.
I met Mike when I was working on PlayStation VR. His desk was right in front of my office. He was always there when I arrived, and always still there when I left. His long hours and good cheer made enough of an impression that I talked to his managers to acknowledge his efforts.
Mike genuinely loved his job, loved games, and loved his colleagues, particularly his pod of Nate, Josh, Annette, and Paul. They were a fantastic and funny group. Their banter often had me cracking up in my office, even contemplating writing a sitcom about them and their adventures. Perhaps something similar to Mike's beloved "Community".
I got to know Mike during my time at PlayStation. He was a kind man, and passionate about social justice issues. We frequently had lunch at the office cafeteria and talked about the world, life, and our respective creative pursuits.
When he wasn't rhapsodizing about one of his favorite shows or movies, he would be entertaining us with terrible jokes, including his famous skateboard trick.
He was a good friend, and a rare combination of someone who is fun to be around, but who also wasn't afraid to engage on a deeper and more serious level. I wish I had more people like him in my life.
I met Mike for lunch in the city at the end of August, just about 6 weeks ago. He seemed in good spirits, and we had a wonderful catch-up, enjoying the blue San Francisco skies, a long and heartfelt conversation, and tasty food. We vowed to do it again soon.
Mike, I am so upset it is not going to happen. I wish you could have reached out to any of the many, many people who love you, just for a moment.
Instead, we are now reaching out to each other, trying to help, listening, sharing memories. The sort of thing I think you would have done, had you been in our miserable, heartbroken shoes.
As Anthony might say, "How dare you!"
I miss you.
It is painful for me to look at how many of my recent entries here are obituaries of one form or another. It is painful to realize I have not even covered all of the friends I have lost in the last 2 years.
The pandemic has been hard on everyone. When things get bleak, please give yourself a break. Remember that you are living through a global catastrophe the likes of which have not been seen in 100 years. Even if the pandemic itself is only an inconvenience for you, the ambient stress is amplifying everyone's underlying issues. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Do not be afraid to ask for help.
Suicide is not an answer. Help is available. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255, and there is the Suicide Prevention Lifeline website.
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