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Dept. of Goodbye

Nick Katz, 1951-2013

My friend Nick Katz, one of my oldest friends in Chicago, the first working colleague I had at Pioneer, who worked on the same staff with me under the same editor for years and years - one of the funniest, most intelligent, quirkiest, most wonderful, most frustrating, most unforgettable people I've ever known - is gone.

His mother, who lives in Florida, hadn't been able to contact him for three or four days and she'd been trying to get in touch with us for the last 24 hours. I finally saw her email, and emailed her back immediately, telling her I'd email Nick, call him from here, and if I didn't hear from him, I'd go up to his place. I have keys; he has had medical problems for a number of years and I've had to help out on a number of occasions.

I tried to call her, as well, to tell her I'd do this, and there was no answer. I hung up, and Bob and I were getting ready to leave the house for some chores. I'd put Nick's keys in my bag, and I was dreading the possibility of having to go up there. I'd gone through this once before, but went up and found that he'd been able to call the paramedics and he'd gotten to hospital. That was last year.

Before I got out of the house, Dee called me. "He's gone." It's really true about how time stretches out in times like this. "Gone" is just one syllable long, but I had so much time between the first part of the word and the last part of the word to think, "You can't mean 'gone.' What do you mean, 'gone'? You mean he's dead, don't you.' 'Don't mean that.' "

So I went over; the cops were still there (in fact, the reason she hadn't answered the phone when I called her was because the cops were just then calling to tell her they'd found him), and I had to ID the body. He probably died sometime between the 8th and 9th, but it wasn't as bad as it could have been, I'm guessing. Our work friend Mike called while we were there, and came over. We were a team together for so many years, the three of us. We drove people crazy.

I'll deal with HR at work, and I've worked out with Dee how much I can let her cousins out in uberrich suburban Chicago bumfuck can handle (cremation and returning him home to her), and Bob and I will clean out his apartment. We're taking all his computers so we can go through them (thank god he hadn't shut them down. I've got to figure a way to keep them on while we transfer them, because if I have to start them up again, they may require a password, and god knows how we'd get in to deal with bills and bank account and such.) I have to contact the management company for the apartment because Dee thinks he's paid up til the end of the month, which should give us the chance to clear most of it out.

No mother should have to bury her child.

I've had more fun than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick today. It's been ... I am going to miss him so very much.

This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/258475.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.


( 35 comments — Leave a comment )
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May. 11th, 2013 10:30 pm (UTC)
I have no adequate words to tell you how sorry I am to hear that. Just know that I am thinking of you and sending you lots of hugs. Keep swimming darling. xxx
May. 12th, 2013 01:14 am (UTC)
Thank you. Swimming as well as I can. He was a wonderful man.
May. 11th, 2013 10:40 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so sorry. :( *hugs*
May. 12th, 2013 01:15 am (UTC)
Thank you, especially for the hugs. They are necessary and appreciated.
May. 11th, 2013 10:55 pm (UTC)
My condolences.
May. 12th, 2013 01:15 am (UTC)
Re: Condolences
Thank you so very much.
May. 12th, 2013 12:30 am (UTC)
My condolences. May his memory always be for a blessing.
May. 12th, 2013 01:16 am (UTC)
His memory will always be a blessing for me. Thank you for your kind words.
May. 12th, 2013 01:00 am (UTC)
My condolences.
May. 12th, 2013 01:16 am (UTC)
Thank you so much.
May. 12th, 2013 01:09 am (UTC)
*hugs tight*
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It sounds like you are continuing to be a true friend to his family.
May. 12th, 2013 01:17 am (UTC)
Re: *hugs tight*
Thank you. His mother is as wonderful as he was, so I hope I can help her.
May. 12th, 2013 01:37 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry. You are doing a mitzvah.
May. 12th, 2013 02:01 am (UTC)
Thanks. I want to do right by him, and for his mother.
May. 12th, 2013 02:12 am (UTC)
{hugs} This year can just stop pulling this kind of crap RIGHT NOW, man...
May. 12th, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
Oh, believe me, I'm already calling it the No Good, Very Bad Year in my head. Thanks for the hugs.
May. 12th, 2013 02:12 am (UTC)
I am sorry for your loss.

Was he any relation to Sam Katz (current mayor of Winnipeg)?
May. 12th, 2013 02:42 am (UTC)
Thank you. Nick actually did have Canadian relatives, but they were apparently from the Montreal area.
May. 12th, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
Oh, honey. That's horrid beyond words.

I've heard you talk about Nick for decades. Literal decades. I think I'm in shock even though I don't think we ever actually met each other.

Insert expressions of comfort and caring here. Words themselves? They fail. Bodies do, too, dammit.

On the practical front, if there's any money at all, you might try picking up a hard drive or two and backing up everything on Nick's computers to that before moving them. Big hard drives are cheap these days and that might be good insurance against the possibility of needing a password to get to the data after a restart. Even then, if he was doing online banking and bill pay, there will still be issues with that.

If there isn't any money, if you can tell me what size drive(s) you'd need, I may be able to quickly ship a couple your way. Ben's been passing drives to me for years as he outgrows them.

Arrgh. Arrgh. Arrgh.

My heart is with you. This so sucks.

May. 12th, 2013 04:44 pm (UTC)
Thank you, darlin'. I know you had your own Very Bad, No Good Year; I think this is mine, or at least the most recent since BB was in hospital back in, what, 2011 or 2010. I don't like these recurring VB,NG years, no I don't, not at all.

On the practical front, if there's any money at all, you might try picking up a hard drive or two and backing up everything on Nick's computers to that before moving them. Big hard drives are cheap these days and that might be good insurance against the possibility of needing a password to get to the data after a restart.

That is an incredibly good idea. I've talked today with one of Nick's distant relatives; he'll take care of a lot of the official stuff, once we've ferreted out as much as we can. We've got a portable hard drive, which we might use as a temporary holding place for Nick's stuff. Thanks!
May. 12th, 2013 06:33 am (UTC)
So very sorry. I'm glad his mother doesn't have to deal with the mountain of logistics alone - may you (all of you) have peace and strength to face it.
May. 12th, 2013 04:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm still kind of reeling from this, but I like to think that he's out of pain, able to practice his blues guitar licks finally, and he's finally found his dog, the one he and his college mates took with them on a trip to Las Vegas so many years ago.
May. 12th, 2013 06:43 am (UTC)
I'm so very sorry. Many, many hugs.
May. 12th, 2013 04:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the hugs, my dear. I truly appreciate them.
May. 12th, 2013 07:06 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry, both to hear that you've lost such a good friend and that you had to find out and deal with it in that way. Sounds like you're being a godsend to Nick's mother. I hope other work colleagues can be just as supportive to you as you deal with it all.
May. 12th, 2013 04:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks. The word has spread among the work colleagues, and people are a bit in shock. He was well known, well liked, and hard to forget.
May. 12th, 2013 11:16 am (UTC)
Oh, I'm so sorry. :-/

May. 12th, 2013 04:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you, my dear.
May. 12th, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry, lovie...that is truly shocking and -

What a nasty slap. Especially after all the fear and pain you've been through with your mom. To lose such a good friend and colleague so suddenly...

Big love to his family and friends. And many condolences.

*hugs you hard*

*Sends out extra*
May. 12th, 2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
Thanks, my dear. I've taken to calling this the Very Bad, No Good Year, although I'm willing to give 2013 one more chance if it just straightens the fuck up and doesn't do this any more.

*hugs back*
(no subject) - a_phoenixdragon - May. 12th, 2013 04:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kaffyr - May. 12th, 2013 04:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
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