This is my news column and not my millennial column. But as a millennial, why didn’t anyone talk to me about death? I had a grandma die as a young teen and a grandpa die when I was a kid. I have memories of sadness. I was truly sad. This week one of my best friends died. They didn’t cover this in Adulting 101.
I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m regretful. And I’m not alone.
My friend – my brother – Nick Kirsch died Saturday.
Before I get to anything I can offer, I have to speak of others. Others who knew Nick far longer than I did. I wrote a column a couple of years ago about how two folks in the business world have really gone out on a limb for me. The first one was obviously The Paper’s CEO Tim Timmons. The other I didn’t name, but it was Nick’s wife, Amanda. She was willing to move me across the country and into their home to go to work at the company she ran. Why? Because Nick thought I was a good guy and could help business. Everyone involved knew that the friendship Nick and I had was a big factor, and I am happy that he thought of me during that time. I took that risk to move from a cozy apartment in downtown Crawfordsville out to the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
I took that risk because I knew Nick had my back. Whatever could possibly happen – mind you I was moving on 10 days’ notice without Abbey – that Nick would take care of me.
He did.
I didn’t screw up too bad and under no circumstances would I ever consider that I regretted the experience.
So let’s backtrack some. I met Nick around 2013. I started with The Paper in fall of 2012 and finally made enough to start hitting the local bars in early 2013. Make of that what you will. The reality is that I met Nick around those local bars and he was a star. I was intimidated pretty much immediately, but eventually, I found my way into an invite to come watch a Pacers playoff game one weekend.
I was greeted with “Have you met Zoey” as Nick opened the door and an adult German shepherd hopped onto my lap. Zoey liked me then – and slept on my bed a few times in Maryland – which I think played a big part in what Nick thought of me.
That was Nick in a nutshell. He didn’t pull a lot of punches. In fact, I don’t think he ever pulled one. He found out what you were about and challenged you to change it if it wasn’t good.
I told you that I was going to talk about all the people who loved Nick. I was going to. I promise. But I don’t know where to start.
This is the first time I’ve cried over this and I can’t find the words right now. I didn’t cry when I found out that things were bad on Friday. I didn’t cry when things were worse on Saturday morning. I didn’t cry when a friend told me he was gone on Saturday afternoon.
Nick would kick my ass if he saw that I cried for him. But I finally am.
If you’ve read this far, thank you. I told you that I was going to tell you why you should care. I got a little sidetracked there. If you don’t know Nick Kirsch, maybe you know DeeJay Kae. Maybe you know of Crawfordsville Outdoor from the softball diamonds. Maybe you really don’t know him.
But you probably do. Nick was a DJ in Crawfordsville before he and his wife moved out east. That’s how I met him. He was also the sponsor and coach for the Crawfordsville Outdoor softball team. They were good. Really good. And went to state whenever I was around.
He also played great music at local bars, back when we had a few local bars. Nick and I didn’t get off to a really great start, which is exactly why we were really great friends. I thought he did something wrong. He thought I did something wrong. We bought each other a drink and the rest is history. I had a friendship with Nick like a lot of guys – we respected each other because we challenged each other.
I guess it’s about time I start to mention all the folks I intended to talk about. Frankly, I can’t. If I try, then I’m going to leave so many out that I will feel terrible. Here’s this. Come to Creekside Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. and you’ll know how many people loved Nick.
I did say that I’m angry, sad and regretful and I need to explain that before I go.
I’m angry that so few people love like Nick and Amanda. Not just toward each other, but so openly toward their friends.
I’m sad that I will never get another peek into the mind of my friend, who challenged me whenever possible.
I’m regretful that it took this to bring tears to my eyes. Not only my eyes, but the eyes of so many. Let’s not take those we respect and love for granted anymore.
Rest easy, brother. Love ya, bub.