Amid a hushed, candlelit crowd that could only be described as reverent, The Weepies began their second show of the night on Saturday in Evanston. My heart jumped to my throat and I sat, enchanted.

I’ve been away a year and a day

You recognize love after the fact

You did what you did and that was that

As I sat listening to my favorite band, Jason sat in a hospital in Colorado and began to lose a battle he had been fighting for months. Sunday morning, maybe even as I was buying him another get-well card from my favorite boutique store in Chicago, we lost him.

Don’t say words that you don’t mean

When I’m gone, please speak well of me

The world lost one of the most kind, positive, gentle humans. One of few men I’ve been close with. One of the most caring friends I’ve ever had.

Looking back now, I only wish I had been kinder

Did I ever know love? Did I ever know love?
And could I have been blinder?

How close to home does death have to hit before you realize you don’t tell the people that are still here how important they are — because you didn’t tell the one who isn’t here anymore how important he was?
How much regret do you have to be filled with about things you didn’t say before you change the way you speak to people on a daily basis — before you begin to say the things you should and learn to keep your mouth shut to avoid the things you shouldn’t?

Don’t say words that you don’t mean

When I’m gone, please speak well of me

Don’t hold back all your love for someday, for someday.

Flights were priced but ultimately left unbooked, omelets offered but left uncooked in lieu of a night in my own bed. Twitter wasn’t checked consistently enough. A second card wasn’t sent in time. There’s always something. Aside from sadness, guilt is the easiest emotion to feel right now: What could I have done better? What could I have said? Why didn’t I try harder? Why wasn’t I around this weekend?

I would say that I’m sorry if it would do any good

But to never regret means you have to forget
and I don’t think that I could.

But I mailed him a card in August that sent him into tears and went on his fridge. We talked before his biopsy, however brief. And Uno was aplenty at High Life Lounge last night in his honor. And cliché or not, here’s the truth: that’s what Jason would care about. He was just that kind of person.

Don’t say words that you don’t mean

When I’m gone, please speak well of me.

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