I found out today that one of my fraternity brothers died. Brian Fabel was a healthy man. He was just one year older than me. He went out for a run last night with his dog and had a heart attack and died. I read about it in an email that goes out to a lot of former Lambda Chis from Rose-Hulman. This list is usually used to update everyone on the progress of fundraising for maintaining the house on campus. I was sure this was some kind of ploy to get us to send in money. Then the replies started, and it quickly became clear that this was not a trick. Brian was gone, and we all were facing our mortality. It was closer for me than it has been since my 8 year old nephew died when I was 12. It was closer than that because the idea of dying is far more real at my age than it ever could be at 12.
I’ve probably only seen Brian a half dozen times in the last 22 years. Every time I saw him it was like we had just spoken the other day. Things picked up right where they had left off before, except that the kids were much bigger than we remembered.
I spent today thinking about the good times that I enjoyed because of “Fabes”. He was always full of joy, even in the worst situations. My favorite memory is when he visited me and Susie out of the blue while we were living in Los Angeles. He was the first of my fraternity brothers to see my daughter. I have a picture of him holding her in his arms. He was one hell of a person. I’ll miss him. I can only imagine how much the people with whom he interacted every day are going to miss him. The world is a sadder place without Brian Fabel.