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Uncle Tech Dude  Apr 19, 2011
 
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Warning, the following journal entry relates to personal events which some may find sad. So, if you don't want your buzz killed, I would move on past this post.

Usually, when bad things happen I just keep making comics, but a series of unusually strange and unfortunate events have just taken place. I have been working on a website project with my uncle for a over a year. At first it was a side project but quickly grew into my full time work and primary source of income. Although I wrote almost all of the code, many of the ideas behind the website were my uncle's idea. It was a true partnership, mixing both of our abilities equally. We developed a good working relationship, each able to help the other one if we got stuck. We were both very optimistic about the website.

As a child, few things were more exciting than going to visit my uncle, where we could play endless video games. At times he seemed odd, he was always thrifty and environmentally conscious, (turned off lights, recycled, saved coupons, etc.) kind and fair, really seemed to admire the female form, had a good knowledge of science, math, computers, and had a masters in computer engineering, generally healthy but was allergic to almost everything. He was also a large part of the inspiration behind Tech Dude. The matter of fact attitude, the glasses (although he eventually got contacts), the tunnel vision focus, the energy awareness, and other traits came from my uncle.

My uncle had a routine deviated septum surgery and went home to recover. After a couple days he was feeling better, but then began to get much worse. He was soon rushed to the emergency room, where he was sedated and eventually diagnosed with toxic shock (I know, it sounds like a bad video game). After several days of dialysis and other treatments he was finally released to rest at home. He told me the project will be delayed, but it will not stop. That made me feel better. He also told me to drive safely, Again, just when he began to show improvement, he left in the middle of the night, wrecked his car and ended up paralyzed from the neck down with no chance of recovery. Back in the emergency room, only able to communicate by nodding or shacking of head in response to yes/no questions, he was asked a question which he had already answered on paper - whether or not he wanted his life prolonged by artificial means. In his final moments, his wife told him again several times that she loved him. His final response, unable to speak, he mouthed the words, "I love you," back to her. An active and strong man, supporting a wife and a daughter one week, gone the next.

I'm not sure why, but I woke up yesterday with my neck and back out. Unable to move without feeling searing pain, this is an extra difficult post to write (please excuse the grammar errors, I've had several Tylenol). I can't sleep because I can't lay down and sitting is quite painful as well. I am supposed to be a pallbearer tomorrow for my closest friend and I can barely lift a glass of water.

Although I hope part of my uncle can live on in Tech Dude, unlike Tech Dude, my uncle was a positive person. So, I hope I can learn to be more of a positive person, because you just have to deal with whatever hand life deals you. I will miss him forever. Here is a picture my brother-in-law took of me at the hospital before the second incident. That door reminds me of life, except you never seem to see the signs until you've passed them. I just hope I get to make a few more comics, songs, and movies before I stumble past my particular sign in this universe.

TLDR uncle died; can't move; out on street soon

-swb April 19th '11
51 comments on Uncle Tech Dude Post New Comment...
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3 years ago by haruhi #67613
litetaker
... I am lost for words.. I know I am late, and that I had not heard of this news until I went back enough to reach this comic. And I am so sorry. For reason's beyond my understanding, I feel so stupid and sympathetic at the same time... Stupid that I couldn't be here at the worst of times, instead I was busy doing nearly nothing and enjoying myself.. I empathize (i don't know its correct usage, but I hope you get the meaning) and I want to show you that I as well as the so many others here on this site love you and support you. Life has a crazy way to throw you into trying times.. You may feel that things are totally pathetic but I really hope that everything turns out for the best even though it may not seem so. Please don't misunderstand my saying the above statement. I simply believe that even in the worst of times, bad things may happen and it may look dark everywhere. But there will be a ray of light always. You just need to look hard enough. And I hope you are filled with happiness and you can fulfill whatever dreams your beloved Uncle had. My condolences. -- litetaker.
3 years ago by litetaker #65022
Condolences. I'm not good at things like this, and I probably won't post again, but I hope that things will get better soon.
3 years ago by erg #60169
at first i was like "awwww all my fav web comics arent producing as many commicsss.." then i read this. i was a dolt. I am sorry for your loss you have my condolences. i hope that was the right word....
3 years ago by destreaks111 #60152
Missed you and the comics so much. Came here so many times and went back wondering what's up with you. Really sad to hear and I am really sorry for your loss. I can imagine how you feel coz I happen to love my uncle the same way. Anyway, any great thing has an end. Let's just face it and move on.
3 years ago by chanux #59940
Bloo
Whoa Dude. My condolences. Not much else to say that hasn't been said already. Sorry it took so long, been busy with exams and graduation and stuff. Just stay strong and remember you've managed to bring out the soft side of @Bronin. Something we all thought was impossible.
3 years ago by Bloo #59880
freaksnproud
(sidenote: I loved seeing myself among all the stickheads on the page yelling at me to sign in before I comment) I'm sorry it took me until today to see this and I'm upset by that fact. But swb you are extremely positive in this situation so you're already well on your way to that. I saw on the other page you've dealt with death before but I also know it doesn't get easier. You're strong and awesome and we all love you even though I'm never around. You're uncle will live on. As for the not moving, I hope that's gotten better by now and if not get it checked out. And donation coming as soon as I become un-lazy enough to to fetch my credit card. I consider this money better spend than the sims game I almost bought today lol. You should make t-shirts. Just saying. And if you'd prefer. I TOTALLY take job of merch designer (booyah).
3 years ago by freaksnproud #59740
Selkie
*insert hug here* <3 <3 <-- hearts for you. Stay strong. We're here for you. Even if we are just random interwebz people.
3 years ago by Selkie #59738
wobster109
SWB, I'm so sorry that this happened to you and your family. He sounds like a "cool uncle" walked straight from a storybook. If there's anything we can do for you, we'll make it happen. If you're in need of food/shelter, let us know, and we'll make it happen. I hope you feel better soon! Please go to the hospital if you're still getting searing pain everywhere! Hugs, 109
3 years ago by wobster109 #59722
mishugina
Wow....um...I feel silly typing this with that goofy grin on my face. We're all here for you, man. I don't know exactly what to say here, I mean the closest I've ever come to what you must be feeling right now was when my dog died [and it hit me pretty hard since it was 3 days after my birthday] only because I regarded him as a brother to me.
3 years ago by mishugina #59714
krishnazden
sorry to hear abt your loss. you have been an inspiration to me to do something i havent thought of before. jst hold on bro!
3 years ago by krishnazden #59702
AngelBoy342
Dude... I'm so sorry... I don't know what else to say...
3 years ago by AngelBoy342 #59689
swb
@cballard @pistatic About the website project - it is something the US economy could really use right now. Yes, I plan to finish it. Although it is over 90% done, it will take a long time to complete without funding as I'll have to work on it in my spare time.
3 years ago by swb #59685
cballard
Look I'm really bad with words. Like really bad. In fact, I've been trying to write something here for the past two days that doesn't sound too corny or overused since I respect you and have grown to appreciate you as a friend after the numerous conversations we've had and the hours we've both spent on this site talking about nothing and everything. Yet, my mind is still blank. All I can say is, I am truly sorry. Losing someone you cared about is never easy but at least know that the pain you feel now is proof that he was deserving of your affection. Cherish the memories you have of him and carry on. Also, it is this man's humble opinion that you should finish that website you've both worked hard on. Maybe not now, or even the next year, but eventually when you have the resources because I believe, from what you wrote of him, that he would have wanted it so.
3 years ago by cballard #59682
Schym
So it goes...
3 years ago by Schym #59676
Dude, ill pray for you. 'nuff said
3 years ago by Skimish #59675
this-is-my-username
So I go to a pious high school in Towson, MD, where we pray before every class. I've got 9 classes, and I'll have you know that I'll mention this in all of them. I hope you end up alright. I wish you the best of luck.
3 years ago by this-is-my-username #59673
igorlys
Hey man. Believe it or not, but your comics - I am 100% sure of that - save lifes. They make people smile, make them think, make them take decisions. Maybe it sounds a bit ridiculous, but it's true, I am sure other commenters will support me here. And if you say that your uncle will live in what you do - which is true - he will not just live, but he will contribute to this world. That is why you should continue. Carry on, bud!
3 years ago by igorlys #59672
FleckerMan
*hug* :)
3 years ago by FleckerMan #59671
majorpun
Your uncle sounded like a pretty awesome guy, swb! I'm sure he is delighted that an image of him will live on in Tech Dude for all those who did not know him! Just keep in mind that you've got a whole bunch of people with weird names and personalized visual representations of themselves behind ya (in addition to the real people behind them)! p.s. I'd say we've all got your back... but that would be utterly too clich? and insensitive of me... SOOOO, get well and be back soon!!! ...or be get'n your back well soon, either one... sorry I tried...
3 years ago by majorpun #59669
vinny
I'm sorry for your loss swb:( Hope things get better for you soon.... You've got a whole community of people here willing to support you if you need it!
3 years ago by vinny #59668
arnabiarritz
I can?t imagine the pain you are feeling now. Just hang on. We are supporting you in this hard time. EDIT: @swb, you have to read what @bronin write down here...
3 years ago by arnabiarritz #59667
Jeff
I wish I could do anything for you from the position I'm at. All I can say is that I'm here for ya.
3 years ago by Jeff #59664
R2D2
Death is natural, in my opinion. I just hope you don't have to move out
3 years ago by R2D2 #59663
pistatic
I'm sorry @swb. nobody asked yet, may I?: (if i'm not too inquisitive) what kind of webpage you two worked on? will you finish it?
3 years ago by pistatic #59662
so sorry to hear about your loss, swb. as others have said, keep your head up...things will get better!
3 years ago by tilla23 #59660
Very Poignant. Everyone will be sorry for your loss and wishing you the best in the near future. Keep your head up. ...also keep your glasses clean in order to better see that sign.
3 years ago by EggNogAdam #59658
keudo
In any man who dies there dies with him his first snow and kiss and fight.... Not people die but worlds die in them. ~Yevgeny Yevtushenko, "People" I love ya, man. And I'm sorry to hear this. Hang on, bro, just hang on.
3 years ago by keudo #59657
Of you look in what you left behind, you wont be able to see what lies ahead! Come on, see the good things he left and remember him in a good way! Im sure you will be ok.
3 years ago by andainnyana #59653
acce245
Sorry to hear about your loss. Life is gonna suck for a while, but it will get better over time. All the flowery words in the world won't fix it. Be sad, break down, when you need to, but don't let it destroy you. Don't worry, we are your readers. We will still be here when you decide to come back.
3 years ago by acce245 #59651
Zadrya
I'm sorry to hear all that... and I, like many of the others, am rather a loss for words (most of that being because I have insane phrases like "lateral vestibulospinal pathway" running through my head at the moment). If there's anything that any of us are able to do, don't hesitate to ask.
3 years ago by Zadrya #59648
MFan
Like said before, it is hard to say something usefull for you at this point. I just want you to know that i wish you the very best luck and i wish there was something i could do to help you.
3 years ago by MFan #59644
Hey, the only thing that am capable of saying at this moment, is that I will pray for you and your family, and that God give you strength and bless your Uncle soul...
3 years ago by tpawar #59643
swb, I don't know what to say to you. I don't know you and you don't know me, but I empathize with you. I just hope you get better. If you ever need support, just realize that there are other people out there who care; your uncle didn't go out being unhappy about his life, so don't be so sad that he's gone. Appreciate that which you have and have had. Take care.
3 years ago by Morred #59642
stickAddict
I hope things will get better for you soon.
3 years ago by stickAddict #59640
I am really sorry to hear about your loss. It's unfortunate that all this happened so suddenly. I hope you take some time off to recover from all this. Keep an optimistic. God bless!
3 years ago by dudette #59637
Denk
I am sorry for your loss swb. I really dont know anything else to say. Take care
3 years ago by Denk #59636
Bronin
This may come as a grand surprise to you @SWB but the Bronin is not an empathetic creature. That being said there are a number of facts in your story that contradict the feelings that you convey. You say that your uncle was an optimistic person, and I get the impression that he was doing what he loved with the people he loved all the way up till the end. He was clearly alert and able to indicate that he did not wish to live without the ability to move and no chance of recovery. He said his goodbyes as best he was able and was ready to move on. It's hard for those of us left behind to go on without those we have lost, and it can lead to the feeling that you've lost your way. The truth is this: No matter who you are, and what you do in your lifetime, we have all taken out a loan. We borrow life for an uncertain amount of time, and one day we all must repay this loan, we owe a death. All that matters in this world is how you spend the time you have been loaned. Doing what you enjoy and, if you're lucky, leaving a little bit of yourself behind to live on in the hearts and minds of those whom you have influenced during your life. Me personally, I try to be optimistic and have a good time every day, so that if life ended tomorrow I could look back and say "I had a good run" regardless of whether or not I die a millionaire or penniless, surrounded by friends or cold and alone. In all truth death is the final adventure in my eyes, I'm in no hurry to find out what happens, but it is something that is a great source of curiosity for me. Your uncle has embarked upon that journey to see what lay beyond, and from what you have related in your story he seems to have lived life in a way that, in his opinion, had worth and made him happy. Truly that is the measure of life, does it make YOU happy? Has it had worth in YOUR eyes? It seems to me that he felt as though he could no longer live a life that held meaning and made him happy so he chose to embark upon that final journey. Take some comfort in the fact that he did indeed have that little bit of extra time granted by the machines in order to make his farewells and decide to move on. Any one of us could die tomorrow in a freak accident, be hit by a bus, a meteor, be turned into a zombie. So if you were to find yourself floating above your corpse as a spirit, would you be able to say that you spent the time you had wisely? If I had my choice I'd die honorably in battle with the corpses of my enemies surrounding me, but regardless of how and when and why I believe that I try hard to live honorably and well each day. If you find yourself needing an ear to listen to your thoughts, or a hand to slap you, or whatever else, I'm not hard to find. TLDR Version: stop being a lazy bastard and read what I took the time to type.
3 years ago by Bronin #59635
I'm also here in "trying to figure out what to say" land, but I know even the best words would be insufficient. Your uncle sounds like a stand-up guy. I'm sorry you and the rest of your family and his friends have lost him. It may be that we're the lucky ones to have lived at all, but losing people still sucks. I think the best any of us can hope for is to draw or write or create or love or whatever while we can. It's painful to remember that. Easier to think we'll live forever. Thank you for the reminder here, awful as it all is for it to have happened to you and yours.
3 years ago by jax #59634
kleer001
You're not alone, dude. How can we help? We're here for you.
3 years ago by kleer001 #59633
Chrysshart
I've been sitting here for several minutes now trying, and failing, to come up with a way to express my sadness and convey my condolences without seeming disingenuous. It doesn't seem possible, but I'm genuinely saddened that you should have so much 'freak crappiness' come down on you all at once. While it doesn't really help in any tangible way, my thoughts are with you and your family. Let us know if there's anything we can do to help.
3 years ago by Chrysshart #59631