Joy and Sorrow

Dear readers,

these have been rough days. As some of you know, I broke my foot right before Christmas, and have been hobbling around on crutches for a while.

Imagine my surprise when one of my friends from the roleplaying scene sent me a great little package from the US. Within, I found the most kickass of walking sticks, so I can at least hobble around in style. This damn cool walking cane!! It’s sturdy, stylish and when I can properly walk once more, I’ll have a neat accessory when going out! I was really flabbergasted and blown away by this kindness.

It’s just one instance in a long line of people being frankly awesome – another recent example would be the cool star-rating graphics Tony “MrKrane” Carter drew for me – you can check out his work here on ArtStation, or here in Cobalt Sages Creations’ catalogue by the way!

Why am I telling you this? Well, it’s because my friends in the RPG-scene, you, my readers, have been a continuous source of strength for me. You make this whole endzeitgeist-thing, this whole enterprise, work. It is your friendship, your kindness, your talking to me, that has kept me afloat through so many dark times, I’ve frankly lost count. I consider myself blessed indeed, and I’ve found myself drawing strength from your support, particularly yesterday and today.

…You guessed it.

…less uplifting stuff ahead.

Yesterday, my grandpa passed away. It may sound weird to you, as I’m not a particularly emotional person, but that struck me pretty hard. I spent much of my childhood with my grandparents on my mom’s side of the family, and losing my grandmother back in the day almost felt like losing a second mom. My grandfather was one of the few positive male role-models I had and have. During the last couple of months, I had to watch his mental faculties diminish to the point of a dissolution of his core personality structure. He would have hated it.

Julian Barnes once wrote “Identity is memory, memory is identity.” I have seen this in action. It was genuinely frightening and one of the most horrible things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen and lived through a lot of messed up stuff.

He was always one of the few people who encouraged me to struggle against the odds, to always attempt to live my dreams, no matter how hard they might seem. He always was a solid foundation, a rock, a positive force in my life, and that’s how I’ll remember him.

His passing left me with a void, an emptiness inside that, I hope, time will heal. My gramps would tell me to get over it. But still. I am left with the crippling, nagging self-doubt that I haven’t felt in quite a while. At least not to this extent. And somewhere, in the back of my mind, I can hear this voice that tells me to just finally give up, that I’ve struggled and fought long and hard enough.

But there are also other voices, and these are not the snide jibes of an internalized thanatotic impostor-syndrome.

They are You, my readers.

My friends.

My supporters.

All you great people who tell me to keep going.

To keep it up.

To never, ever give up, never throw the towel – unless it’s over the shoulder on towel day.

Today was a day where, without you, I wouldn’t have managed to get myself out of bed.

To sit down.

To type.

I haven’t written much today, as I make it a habit of not analyzing when I’m emotionally charged to this extent. I’ve just collected data, written drafts…stuff that’s easy, that has nothing to do with rating or opinions. I had planned on finishing and posting two more reviews today, but I have to still rate the two files, and I’m not in a shape to do so, not today.

Still. I wanted to let you know how, in this weird climate we’re living in right now, that the friendships, the relationships we build online and through out hobby, can be a vast source of strength.

It’s something we sometimes forget over all the drama and bickering.

I have made amazing friends over the years – and I am glad you’re out there. Often thousands of miles away. But out there nonetheless. I know you’re there, and I hope you know that ole’ me’s here as well. You know where to find me if you need me.

Take care, and if you can find it in yourself to do so for a man who only indirectly influenced you through me, please consider raising a toast to my grandfather Heinrich Hetzer, to his final journey.

I’ll miss you, gramps.

Thank you for reading this.


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