I lost a great friend

A photo of my Harley and I taken by my friend Katie.
Yesterday my friend Tim Campbell passed away. Tim was one of the first friends I made when I moved to Seattle and he was one of the smartest, nicest, and most genuinely sincere people I have been privileged enough to call a friend.

When I first heard of his passing, I sat down where I was and cried. I'm crying again as I write this. I haven't cried in years, and when I do it's not something I share.

Even though we met in Seattle, Tim moved to the Berkeley in 2013 with his wife Katie to pursue a PhD at Cal and I was so glad when he did. I love the friends I have made in California, but the friends I made at UW, Tim included, I count among the best I will ever have.

I made cookies for Tim and Katie last week and stopped by his house in Berkeley to drop them off. In true Tim fashion, he immediately offered to make me dinner. When I declined he literally gave me a portion of the meal he had just made for himself. That's the sort of person he was. I don't think he ever once in his life put his own needs before those of his family and friends.

Tim was the sort of person who others always wanted to be around because his love of life and fascination with the world around him were contagious.

When I became an RA at UW, I inherited Tim's room and floor from him in Haggett Hall. The staff that had worked with him the year previous had so many wonderful things to say about him, and I wondered often if I was doing as good a job as he would have supporting my residents. I don't think I was ever close to being as good an RA as Tim, but that's OK because he was the sort of person you aspired to be more like. Even though you could never be as good as him, you knew you were ultimately a better person for him having shown you what was even possible to begin with.

I always found it amazing that Tim, despite his diagnosis with cancer, remained one of the most positive people in my life. I think back on times we biked around Berkeley or went to see the Alabama Shakes at the Greek Theater in Berkeley, and when I picture him in those moments I picture that wide smile that so rarely left his face.

A lot of people over the years have called me 'positive pat' because I generally try to look for the good in things. I wrote a blog post last month about something to that effect. Tim however was positive despite the fact he knew he was sick. He bore that weight himself and still projected warmth and generosity in ways I will never be able to.

I'm going to miss Tim a lot, and I can't even imagine what Katie must be going through right now. The world was a better place with him in it.


A photo of my Harley and I taken by my friend Katie.