The Passing of a Friend and Brother
A close friend of mine died this past Sunday. His name was Sagar. Even as I type this, it is impossible to believe. He was 28 years old.
We met ten years ago this coming fall. It was the first day of college, literally the day we moved into the dorms. I walked down our hall, looking for someone who had set up their television. My own roommate and I couldn’t figure it out. His was the first room I came across that had a working television.
When I asked him if he would help us, his immediate response was, “Of course!”
As he was hooking everything up, he said, “One day we’ll look back on this and say this is how we met.”
Sagar helped me on the first day we met and he never stopped helping me.
To his friends, Sagar was encouraging, supportive, and always proud. He loved The Lazy Yogi and told many people about this blog even while I kept it quiet. When I switched from working in the film industry to pursuing my medical doctorate, he rooted for me and immediately got on board despite much skepticism and doubt from those around me. He was a true friend and ally.
Wherever Sagar lived, that’s where the parties were. He loved hosting, he loved bringing people together, and he loved his friends. All through college people thought I was one of his roommates because I was always at his place chilling.
After college he moved to New York City while I had to live at home in Connecticut. I came into the city every weekend and he would always have a place for me to sleep in his apartment. This very summer I slept on his couch many times. I slept in his bed the night before he died.
The month before, he went to the doctor with a bad cough and back/leg pain. They did a scan and it turned out to be a rare genetic late stage lung cancer. He underwent surgery but his condition declined rapidly. I visited him while he was unconscious in the ICU on Saturday and Sunday. I visited his body after he passed. I still can’t believe it as I am writing this.
The last two times I saw him stand out in my mind. The earlier time was our last nice day together. We drank on the rooftop of his apartment building in the Lower East side. We climbed the water tower and took in the view, talking about our plans for the summer and the future. He took a picture of me, which became my profile picture on Facebook.
The second time was the last time I saw him before he was in the hospital. His pain was bad, his cough was bad. But he was so happy to see me.
“Everything feels better when you’re here,” he had said to me.
When I left, he hugged me and told me he loved me. That was another thing I learned from Sagar. He always said “I love you” to his friends. Now I do too.
I have seen too many early deaths in my life already. My father died of cancer when I was in high school. One of my high school best friends committed suicide when I was in college. And now Sagar is gone.
Fuck. He was the center of everything good in our massive group of friends.
His death is senseless and tragic. One quote keeps going through my mind: “Nature is not human hearted.”
No it fucking isn’t.
I say this again and again: impermanence is inescapable. This life is not a means to an end. The end is death. No matter what we do, we take nothing with us. This life is an opportunity to love and to awaken. No more, no less.
I don’t know how Sagar’s death will effect me. After my father’s death, I found myself on a spiritual path and it led me to meditation. I don’t know what’s next.
All I can say is don’t wait. There is no later that we can depend on.
Thanks for listening. May you all be blessed with health, happiness, and peace.