We Lost a Friend Today. RIP Sangfroid

Acadia Einstein

sangI got a message from a friend on Facebook this morning letting me know that our friend Sangfroid (aka Joe), had died at his home in Maine. I was surprised as well as not surprised, which is how things always were with Sang. He was kind, brilliant, complicated, gentle, and maddening. The fact that I can barely see to write this because I can’t stop goddamn crying proves one doesn’t need to meet someone in real life to be true friends. And good people affect anyone and everyone lucky enough to cross their path.

trillian_2016-10-24_19-02-08

I don’t want him to ever not be in the staff group in my chat. Even though 50% of those people don’t work here anymore. I just leave them there because it makes me feel better. Shut up.

I don’t want him to ever not be in the staff group in my chat. Even though 50% of those people don’t work here anymore. I just leave them there because it makes me feel better. Shut up.

If you want to see everything he wrote, at least for this site, go here. And we will be reposting some of his best stuff in the weeks to come. But this is an obituary; I am supposed to list off the stuff he liked and who survived him, and that kind of stuff, right? Well, see that’s the thing. That complicated part. As much as he and I talked, he asked more questions than he answered. The friend I spoke to on the phone this morning, the wonderful dear woman who was friends with Sang and lives in Texas, talked to me about stuff he had going on that I never knew. Or I knew but didn’t know.

One of the things we used to argue about (and we argued a lot, heh) was that he would not guide people into his posts. If he knew a lot about a topic he would just start in. No primer. No intro chapter. Not even a “previously on…” and it drove me nuts. But if you spin through his posts, you will see that he didn’t mind me being driven nuts. In fact, he relished it. So, like his posts, the info he shared about his life assumed a lot of knowledge. At least it did with me. And I never asked him a bunch of things because, well because I guess I needed to learn in a terrible way that sometimes if you care about someone you should ask goddamn questions when they say things like: “I will do it when I feel good enough.” And when you do ask don’t take “eh, it’s boring and complicated” as an acceptable answer.

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He drew this. No joke. He was crazy talented.  And he loved Vange even though he hated when she edited him.


He helped a lot of people who wanted to be writers become better writers. He cared about people and offered help he could not afford to give, and gave it anyway. He cared about this site, despite our surprisingly low number of Pulitzer Prizes. And while this is a stupid place to have an obituary for a person, I feel the way he treated writing here was how he treated everything in his creative life.

His name was Sangfroid. And, like most things, it meant way more than I knew and he would tweak me with it. I always pronounced it SANG, FROYD. Now, it is apparently a reference to something and he made fun of me once for not knowing the reference or that it was supposed to be pronounced SANG FWAH. On the old podcast, I said, “That can’t be right because Ben Kenobi didn’t tell the stormtroopers: ‘These aren’t the DHAW’S you’re looking for.’” He told me I was a dolt, but I made him laugh. Then he said later, “You know I know you aren’t a dolt, right?” And he said he did. But I am not going to look up what Sangfroid references and I am going to keep saying it wrong, because maybe it will piss him off enough that he will haunt me.

His being here was like if someone got hired for the New Yorker, but went in the wrong door and ended up at the NY Post and never left. He was brilliant and impenetrable and all the things you can think a 52 year old man would be (his birthday was on Christmas. That I knew, but I never knew how old he was until today). I know in my heart he was smart enough to know I loved him, even though I didn’t realize how much I loved him until it was too late. Insert cliche.

He played Fallout 4, but used all sorts of mods and said stuff I didn’t understand. He played WoW and told me stuff I didn’t understand. We commiserated on politics. He would write posts he wouldn’t even want to read because sometimes it was good for the site. He cared. A lot. And I looked for his Westworld review when I got up this morning. And now I will look for him all the time. And if I had to sum up the kind of person he was inside, it would be this way: The only thing he specifically told his friends that needed to happen to any living thing when he died was that his dog, Charlotte, needed to be taken care of. How can you not love a man who cares more about animals than people? A friend of his posted this and it is perfect. It’s Fallout 4, and it’s Sangfroid (Joe) and Charlotte.

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Good bye, Sang.  I hope that when you got to where you’re going, the person you called out for was there and called right back.

Author:
I have run the site since 2005. And I have to say I am pretty damn proud of it. I wrote the book Whalewolf (sold on Smashwords.com) and am not even close to tired so I am just going to keep going. I was born in Portland, Maine and I currently live in New York and Charlotte, North Carolina. I keep hoping that at some point all these weird rebels are gonna say: "SURPRISE!" and act normal. Eight years and counting....

28 Comments

  1. livelaughhlovee5
    livelaughhlovee5Reply
    October 24, 2016 at 9:49 pm

    So sorry to hear about your friend passing! It’s never easy to loose someone you loved.

  2. BNev
    BNevReply
    October 24, 2016 at 9:53 pm

    God damn man, it’s beautiful!

    R.I.P. Sang

  3. Lily Alice
    Lily AliceReply
    October 24, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    He sounds like someone for whom the name Sangfroid was perfect. I’m sorry for your loss, and happy you got to know such a cool person.

  4. Jennifer Melzer
    October 24, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    You made me cry again. <3

  5. Nicole Smith
    Nicole SmithReply
    October 24, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    I’m balling my eyes out again.

  6. stacyfrazer
    stacyfrazerReply
    October 24, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Incredibly saddened by this! I loved Sang’s writing. Crazy sorry for your loss.

  7. Amber Myers
    October 24, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. This was a wonderful post.

  8. Steph
    StephReply
    October 24, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    Bloody hell, I had finally dried up a little, and this came thru my feed. He will be greatly missed. We used to compare notes on fallout , his mods ( and things no one understands) and his teasing about finding more in game items . I will miss the periodic messages of ” I found 5 lunch boxes today -- muwah- ” more than words can describe. Such a silly little thing to leave such a huge impact . great article Acadia.

  9. Vange
    VangeReply
    October 24, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    Aw, say it isn’t so. Sang, you crabby, sweet old goat. I always wished we could go have breakfast at a dingy diner together.

    Acadia, I’m sending you big hugs.

  10. Chris Davison
    October 25, 2016 at 12:06 am

    I’m sorry to hear Sang has passed. I enjoyed his writing.

    Acadia, this was a great tribute.

  11. Lennae Stubbs
    October 25, 2016 at 2:26 am

    Sorry to hear of your loss, you have written a beautiful post. Sending lots of love your way.

    Lennae xxx

  12. Cornmeal
    CornmealReply
    October 25, 2016 at 5:36 am

    So long Sang. Thanks for the honor of letting me get to know you a little bit.

  13. Bluzdude
    October 25, 2016 at 7:18 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Safe on, Sang.

  14. Mark Miller
    Mark MillerReply
    October 25, 2016 at 7:50 am

    That was beautiful man.

  15. Kenny King
    October 25, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Amazing and heartfelt tribute

  16. Cider
    CiderReply
    October 25, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Well done, fam. I’m super sad too. I feel bad because I was recently arguing with him on facebook about why it was OK to be mean to mean people. Ha ha. He was telling me to be nicer and more understanding. OK Sang, I’ll try. At least for a little while. 😉

  17. Blair Villanueva
    October 25, 2016 at 8:50 am

    RIP. He seems like a good friend to you and to others. He will be remembered.

  18. Dan Brill
    October 25, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Aw, man, this is sad. Always enjoyed reading his stuff. This is a great tribute to him, masked man.

  19. lydia@lifeuntraveledl
    October 25, 2016 at 11:17 am

    Sorry for your loss…..His name seemed very befitting as a literal translation from French it means “cold blood” more appropriately in English it means exuding a coolness (composure) especially under difficult circumstances. Sois en paix Sangfroid. x

  20. Alex
    AlexReply
    October 25, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Such terrible news. Good friends are always lost too soon.

  21. Miranda (Anosa)
    October 25, 2016 at 1:24 pm

    So sorry for your loss, I know what you mean about being friends even though you’ve never met the person. I will definitely check out the group he was part of

  22. Houx
    October 25, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Sorry for your loss. Hold on to the memories, always.

  23. Janine Good
    October 25, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    I am so sorry to read this. My sincere condolences to you and your close support circle.

  24. Nicole Osburn
    October 25, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    My deepest sympathies I am so very sorry for your loss. My condolences. 🙁

  25. Julie Maloney
    Julie MaloneyReply
    October 25, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    My heart bleeds for you. He was a kind soul who clearly cared deeply for you and this website. I will never see cranberries the same again.

  26. Ana Ojha
    October 26, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Beautiful piece of writing and I am sorry to hear about your loss. May your friend rest in peace!

  27. Valerie Ratliff
    October 27, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    Beautiful piece. I agree. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  28. Healthwealthbridge by Dr.Amrita Basu
    October 30, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    You wrote so beautifully about your friend that I don’t know how to express my sorrow .He appears to be a wonderful human.Glad you shareD the stories

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