Welcome death like an old friend and you’ll be fine.

It is a fact that the new of the passing away of the man in the SUB is spreading rapidly. To me he was always known as “that guy who sits in the chair in the SUB”. It wasn’t up until I found out about the news of his passing that I learned what his name was (might be). It is, dare I say tragic, to learn of his passing but then it is also curious. It is curious to read all the comments regarding his death. It is curious that his death has impacted not only those who talked with him, but those who never did. It is curious that not all that much is known about him. It is curious that he read and sat in the same chair for so many years. It is curious…well everything about all this is curious.

All this eerily reminds me of a previous experience (in a good way though). There always was longing to go and talk to him (and possibly take his photo, what? I like photos) and I wouldn’t be the first one to admit regret over not doing so. It seems that his passing is a shock (of various degrees) to many at UBC. Logically speaking, it really shouldn’t be such a shock. People die/pass away all the time, strangers, friends, family, and acquaintances. Even then though, the feeling from the knowledge that we won’t be able to see this silent man again is…peculiar. Future UBC students may only hear of him in passing or his memory may end up becoming a story.

In a way, he was more than just a person sitting in a chair, reading a book. For anyone who came to UBC on a regular basis (and especially the SUB for that matter) he may have represented a sort of consistency. Seasons change, courses change, faculties change, servers change, friends change. As people, we’re all stubborn towards change (think of Facebook style changes), some more than others. Among all the mid-terms, social conflicts, renovations, and graduations he was generally there; his chair was always there. Day or night, I can’t even count how many times I may have walked by him. I can say that he may have represented one of the many anchors that keep us from drifting to and getting lost in open waters. For those of us who noticed, he may have been an uncomfortable sight, a familiar sight, a curiosity, a quirky secret of UBC, or a mysterious person who was just there. He could have been just about anything for anyone. Or he could have just represented nothing at all. Perhaps it is just the silence and mystery of his past that makes him so memorable. Whatever he represented, he was a part of the UBC campus for many students and staff both past and present.

Credits to Miya Gu

Let no one weep for me, or celebrate my funeral with mourning; for I still live, as I pass to and fro through the mouths of men.
-Quintus Ennius

It’s curious that I have been affected enough to go visit that chair tomorrow and visit I shall. There are already many flowers and cards, my own share shall join it soon. It would be very curious indeed if nothing was made in his memory. I do hope UBC or its students puts that into consideration.

With credits to the UBC Campus Security Facebook page


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4 thoughts on “Welcome death like an old friend and you’ll be fine.”

    1. To have some sort of positive influence on a person’s thoughts or actions in any way. Whether directly (through an act of kindness let’s say) or through just being there and randomly have a thought pop into the head that otherwise might not have happened. It’s a pretty broad definition to me.

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