Kamilah Taylor
This was going to be a post about Inception, but something actually managed to push it out of my mind. A dear friend of mine, full of life, Dan Schreiber, has passed away. I can't even comprehend it. As I write this, I think the emotions are churning, I actually feel like something just took the breath out of me. I think this may actually be my first friend who's died. It's part of life right? We all die eventually. Last summer I had my first friend get married, but this is part of life too. I'm not even sure if this post makes sense or if I'm just rambling, I just know that I have to deal with all of this emotion. Dan was a fellow graduate student and an aspiring chocolate maker. He was brilliant, top of the math department during his undergrad at the U of I, and chose to do a PhD in computer science. Last summer he started experimenting with chocolate making, from the cacao beans, and he got quite good at it. ..

I just had to take a walk. The silence is deafening. I walked in a daze, listening to Here Comes The Sun and Because. There was something very melancholy about the department when I walked in. Maybe I was just projecting my emotions, I just don't know...

From Drop Box

You know, any time you see someone young died, they always say how full of life they were, how nice they were to everyone. It's so cliche but it's completely true about Dan. Why do the nice ones go first? I never told Dan this, but he really inspired me. He was brilliant enough to get a PhD with ease but chose to do what he loved instead, make chocolate. It's so funny, the other day I was cleaning my fridge and came across one of his earlier chocolate wrappers. I'm a packrat, so instead of throwing it away, I tucked it beside the jam bottles. I look at it now kind of in shock. When I started experimenting with baking this past semester, I wanted to try baking this scone recipe I found that called for chocolate chunks and dried cranberries. I described the recipe to Dan, and he instantly knew what chocolate I'd need to go with the cranberries. I've never known anyone so enthusiastic about chocolate. That's the wrapper I unintentionally saved and now have. I won't be throwing it away.
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8 Responses
  1. cynthia Says:

    This is a beautiful post to honor a friend. Death, especially at such a young age, is often unimaginable, unfathomable. There are simply no words except... why? In my experience, the best advice I have ever been given in such times, is, Celebrate his life. Which is what you are doing here. In Death, we do not always get answers, but we can find solice in remembering our loved ones as they lived.

  2. Marcela Says:

    *hugs* You expressed it beautifully.

  3. kami Says:

    Thank you for your kind words. It's probably good I got this out of my system yesterday because I woke up and it's like it just hit me, so I'm not really in the writing mood.

  4. SiouxGeonz Says:

    Do things he would have done. Don't let the gap he leaves behind stay empty.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Great post. Send it to his parents and sister. They'll treasure it.

  6. ndemik Says:

    Kami, thank you deeply for these kind words and memories. It is so comforting to know that Dan was surrounded by such wonderful people as yourself.

    Hope to meet you when we are in Illinois next week.

    Eli (Dan's brother-in-law)

  7. kami Says:

    Eli, thank you so much. I'm so sorry for your family's loss. I'm honored to have had Dan as my friend. I will be at the memorial on the 8th.

    SiouxGeonz, thank you, I will definitely keep that in mind...I always admired his ability to live in the moment.

  8. Karen (Dan's mom) Says:

    Kami, Thank you for sending us this wonderful post.
    We are celebrating his life and trying to fill the gap he left behind.

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