A friend passed away last October. We had been working together for a year and a half and I had come to see him as a big brother. He looked out for me at work, knew when I was having a hard time in my personal life, and was willing to go "have a talk" with someone if need be and get it all sorted out. He was the center of our group at work, the one who tied us all together.
He gave a lot of crap but you knew he didn't mean it as anything more than a joke. I have a coffee cup that I rinse out everyday and I give it an actual wash every once in a while. Another co-worker was horrified I hadn't washed it and was chasing me and my coffee cup with a bottle of dish soap and a scrubby. My friend yelled out "That's right! You wash that dirty hippy!" After that I was known as "dirty hippy". If he hadn't given you a nickname he didn't like you. I felt accepted.
I was looking at some old videos I had taken where a few of us were doing something stupid. He can be heard in the background making fun. I like to play it to hear his voice. Sometimes I'll here someone talking at work over the cubicle walls and for a minute it sounds like him. For that tiny little moment history is not true and a great friend is not gone.
He and I and another coworker were on an on-call rotation of 3 weeks. Our schedule has been adjusted to 2 weeks but I still haven't deleted the outlook reminder for his turn at on-call. Every 3 weeks I'm reminded that it's his turn. This morning I was looking for something in my IE favorites menu and there is a link to his twitter page. He made an update the day before he went into the hospital and it is now immortalized in the ether of the internet. Every now and then these reminders are there to tell me that wherever he went, my friend says "hello".