Between waves of grief on Sunday morning, when I learned that my friend Phil had died, I scrolled through old texts, landing on what would be my last chat with him, on Sept. 10:
Phil: Wanna meet tonite? I’d love to catch up. Much to talk about. Ugh.
Me: Hey, would love to but in Toronto for play reading. Maybe Tuesday eve? Miss you, think about you.
Phil: That sounds great. Let me know when you land. Miss you too.
We never met that Tuesday evening.
I’m not the only one, I’m certain, with similar incomplete threads of conversation from him. There are several of us — friends and family who were available for him to reach while being tugged further back into a disease that wants to get you alone and then kill you. Any of us who knew him well could pen this, and I do so understanding that my relationship with Phil was my own and no more or less singular or special than the relationships he had with many.