Today I lost a friend named Justin.
Many of you knew him as JewWario. Hell, I probably called him that more than his real name, but it was just as much who he was. He was one of the nicest, kindest people I ever had the honor and privilege to know and work alongside and God knows I am going to miss him.
I admit it feels hollow saying that. Not because it isn’t true, but because I don’t feel it does enough justice. I’ve said before about the importance of words, how much they matter and affect people… but here I am, talking about a person who I will never see again in this life and I feel I can’t find the adequate words to express myself. I’m not used to death. Mind you, I don’t think anyone truly IS used to it, but I haven’t experienced it very much in my life.
Justin committed suicide. If you look at the last message I reblogged, it lists various resources for people who are contemplating the same thing. I hope they’re helpful. And I hope Justin knew how much his show helped people. I’d like to think he did. I want to talk about the suicide, how none of us saw it coming, how we could never contemplate him doing it, or just that I could ever understand what would drive a person to make such an act… but I don’t understand it. I don’t feel those same things and in a way I feel like a jerk because I DON’T understand it. All I can do is try to offer help in the hope that it will never happen again. And try to focus on his life and the people he touched.
The first video of Justin’s that I ever saw was a pilot for a show that I don’t think he proceeded with, which was a shame because I really enjoyed it. It was called “Play Proceeds Clockwise,” which talked about board games and had this neat gimmick where the camera would rotate between the four players as they explained the game. I liked it so much that I decided to learn more about this guy and I watched a lot of “You Can Play This,” though I admit I didn’t always catch it when a new one came out.
I met him first during Kickassia. If I recall correctly, he and Angry Joe were sharing a room together and it had become the meeting room for everyone while we waited for more people to arrive. And here was this kind, wonderful guy with pink shoes and a pink luggage case who had a whole bunch of Japanese candies and foods with him. And he was having a birthday during the filming, too, so one night all 20+ of us went out to a Chinese food place across the street from the hotel. And this poor guy operating the little restaurant all by his lonesome had to accommodate 20+ orders one at a time from us all trying to celebrate Justin’s birthday.
And then during Suburban Knights he would continually impress us and wow us with his ability to roll that ball around in his hands. He kept saying it was really easy and anybody could do it, but I sure as hell couldn’t. And we all marveled at how well he played the Goblin King and made us laugh with every line delivery and just being the most charming guy in the room.
And of course everyone by now should know the story of how, during To Boldly Flee, I couldn’t look at Justin’s face while he poked me with a plastic sword, since whenever I did I started laughing my ass off. Justin knew how to make you smile no matter what. And I’m going to miss him so damn much.
In his honor, I’m shifting the schedule of upcoming episodes a bit. I can’t look at it in detail at this moment since I’m currently writing this on a laptop from a convention, but needless to say I’m pushing US-1 #3 back a week and am instead going to do Gameboy #3 and do a tribute to Justin in it.
It’s hard for me to think of the right words for this. I’m grieving right now. We all are. But the pain will lessen over time. We’ll stop thinking of the tragedy of it and we’ll instead only remember how damn happy we were to have known him. I’m looking forward to being able to do that. For the moment, I’ll remember this good times and I’ll cry. That will pass with time. I just can’t find the right words to express the things I’m feeling and how good of a guy he was.
Right now I’m just trying to work through this. And I will. I don’t know if my rambling is making any sense. But what I can do is remind everyone that you are loved. You are appreciated. And if you see somebody who needs to be shown love and appreciation, go do it. Thank you, everyone, and remember Justin.