I woke an hour ago to the news that Aaron Swartz killed himself. From my vantage point it seems like the entire internet is mourning him. It only takes reading a a few posts by people who loved him to understand why. Not why he did it, but why there are Alderaan levels of horror and sadness being felt that he did. An entire world crying out in pain.
I didn’t know Aaron personally, I knew of him of course – he was a very cherished person to many people I cherish. When I’d read his name, like many others out there in similar circles, I’d often think how weird it was that I hadn’t met him yet and wondered when I finally would. I so frequently meet people that I’ve known about for years, or who I’ve interacted with online but never met in person that it’s not even noteworthy anymore. I just expect that anytime a friend talks about someone that I’ll someday be hanging out with them. To the point that it’s almost a game. What will be the circumstances when I’ll meet them? Where in the world will it happen? Who will do the introduction?
I’ll never have the chance to meet Aaron now, and I’m saddened by that.
Knowing what I do about him and what he accomplished in his relatively short life, and reading the words my friends are writing about their friend – we all lost one of the good ones today. And regardless of if anyone knew him personally, we’re all worse off without him. It’s so terribly unfortunate that he felt this was his only escape.
I’ve written about my own experiences with depression and suicide in the past. I likely will again in the future. Today, I don’t know what to say. Except this sucks.