A tragedy has happened here in Denver; a good friend, co-worker, and fellow Airman has passed away. In a nutshell, it was a sudden and tragic end to a life that was way too short and full of people he touched. The emotions that flow through those that he touched after they heard the news are shock, numbness, sadness, anger… And I really haven’t figured out what is going to come after that.
To me, Will Kline was the joy of my days. I could be full of piss and vinegar, enraged at a fellow co-worker and all it would take is a smoke break with Kline and there I was again, back to normal. Will was the buddy pushing bottoms on the GPS and saying, “Oh… Oh… Turn that shit up!” when a song he liked came on. Sirius channel 43 was one of his favorites as we drove, smoked, and talked.
There was nothing quite like getting a short joke from Will that could really make your day. If he couldn’t cheer you up with something simple, he would step up his game until he at least got a smile from the most stone cold person.
One of my more liked things about Kline was how he would help out his buddies. I remember one morning when one of his buddies was worried about something he did over a weekend (which was really quite frivolous). I walked in and Will wanted to ask me a “hypothetical” question that had entirely too many details to be a hypothetical question. I gave him a solution that fit the needs of everyone. This was a fairly routine occurrence.
Will had a special way of making me, and everyone else, happy. I think the one line that I’m going to straight up steal from Will Kline is, “It could be worse… You could have AIDS.” The effect that line has on people is profound but it works in every situation imaginable (except if you have AIDS, obviously).
I could continue to go on and on for days (and I might as I put pen to paper) but I think I will continue to update this post as necessary so that I can help myself cope with the loss of a good friend. I encourage others to comment, write, and share their experiences with others.
UPDATE (15 Aug 2007 @ 0438 MDT): I am still finding it immensely difficult to sleep. I go to sleep and then wake up, go to sleep, wake up, and on and on it goes. This morning I woke up at 0414 having known I had a dream involving Kline, terrified about that dream, and not knowing any of the substance of that dream. Unisom isn’t working for me either unless mixed with copious amounts of alcohol and that’s just not a good idea at all.
UPDATE (16 Aug 2007 @ 0440 CDT): I thought I would be okay with continuing on with my PCS as scheduled and that not going to the memorial service today for Will at Buckley AFB, CO would help me cope better but damn was I wrong. I feel fucking horrible for not being there. I have been awake for two hours now and can’t stop thinking about Will and how much I want to be there today and how much I miss him.