I know you don’t know me, but I wanted to reach out to you. To let you know how Henry still impacts my daily life even nearly five years after his death. And how I suspect he always will.
I don’t presume to have known him that well, but sometimes there are people you feel you connect with immediately even if it were just at a Brown University Number Theory camp way back in 2010.
We kept in contact after that, and he even connected me to Klara when he found out I was going to Brown. He thought we’d get along. He always went out of his way to positively impact people’s lives and make them feel as if they had value–I wish he could have gotten to that point.
I say this because I understand in a way what he went through. I ended up taking a couple leaves from Brown and wound up in a psych ward with a 24/7 personal sitter because I wanted nothing more than to die. To leave this mess of an earth and not have to deal with gnarly life. I even attempted suicide three times under this level of care…but now that’s been years ago.
I understand in a way how you must feel as a parent of a child who wanted to die. My mom and I have talked about this extensively. We’ve also talked about how we wish Henry could have gotten to the point I’m at now.
Henry is a special soul, I mean, how is it that a person I knew for two weeks nearly a decade ago still impacts my daily life? Makes me put on mismatched socks.
I had a theory about that. It’s probably just my way of dealing and reasoning through things, but it at least brought meaning to me. Henry not only had mismatched socks, but a mismatched inside and out. He seemed to strive to make others happy while being miserable on the inside. So I now wear these mismatched socks as a reminder to always talk to someone if I feel the internal and external personality mismatch.
I also wear them as a reminder to treat all people with kindness because the little acts of making me not feel stupid in the Number Theory class has affected me to this day. So I just wanted to write to you to let you know that Henry lives on, even from the people you might least expect.