Death of a former drinking buddy

I learned today that a guy I knew and used to drink with died this week. He was 40 and apparently had a heart attack while on a train.

It seems hard to believe but I met him when he was a recent college graduate. I had a momentary drunken fling with him that was short and went nowhere. But after that, he was a drinking buddy at a dive bar a group of us would go to. We used to call him “lanky” because when he first started hanging at the bar he was tall and thin. Years later he was still tall though nothing close to thin. But the nickname stuck.

I got the text tonight from another former drinking buddy, “lanky died”.

It’s so weird to think how much time I spent in that bar back then and what a warm place it has in my heart. I suppose it’s sad that I loved a bar and the people there but I did. Of course my love of alcohol was also strong and ultimately got me banned from my beloved bar.

Now so many years later, I think back on it and how many years of my life I dedicated to a bar and to alcohol. I’m also struck by how many of the people I drank with there have died— and died young.

I don’t know what Lanky was up to in the last ten years or so but I hope he was happy.


Sorry about your loss, it’s never easy to learn about a friend’s untimely passing. Tomorrow is not promised so let’s stay true to ourselves and humble. Take care


Im sorry to hear of your loss. If you remove the alcohol use from the story it sounds as if you have very fond memories of him and the space you were in back then. Cherish those recollections and try not to lump them in with the negative aspects of your drinking history.

I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately and I can honestly say I have no true regrets in this life, because all of those experiences…good and bad…have made me whom I am today. If because of my 24 years of drinking, I can relate on some level with someone in this forum and provide a shoulder to lean on or a bit of support in their time of need, then those years of my boozing were worth it for them. We all say we wish we wouldn’t have started drinking, but the reality is for me, I had some of the best moments of my life and communed with some of the finest people because of it. The fact that I am an irresponsible drinker is secondary to that, and I know I will never touch alcohol again as long as I live for that very reason. I’ve lost no close friends because of alcohol, but I have lost acquaintances who died from alcohol related illnesses…it’s always been a strange feeling for me when it has occurred because everyone, including me, knew they had a drinking problem, but no one ever intervened…likely because we were hesitant to “cast judgement” being drunks ourselves. My goal now is to never be that guy that everyone knew as a drunk. I like surprising people now with my sobriety because they have just come to associate me with beer for as long as they’ve known me.

Life is fragile, we owe it to ourselves and our families to do everything we can to squeeze as many years out of it as possible. Glad you are in a healthier place now.


Not sad to hold a warm place in your heart for people from your past. 4 of my longest and best friends are Marine Buddies I met at one of the lowest points of my life, and our early friendship involved the purposeful consumption of alcohol. We’re still friends over 25 years later. Speak frequently on the phone and get together at least evey other year. Two of us are sober now.

Sorry for the loss of your friend.


It’s not the day of death or the day of birth that matter, it’s the dash in between.

Unfortunately in this game called life we don’t get to go back and have a do over although well hold on to the past because we miss what it was.

Find peace knowing Lanky will always be with you mind, heart and spirit :slight_smile:

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Thanks guys. I appreciate your kind, wise words.

Wow. That’s rough, and I relate. Had to attend 3 wakes in as many as the last 3 of my sobriety.
Such a surreal feeling.
I wish peace for you.

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Well said and I totally agree.

I’m sorry about your loss. Myself I learned about a friend’s death a few weeks ago. I once fell in love with him.He was a real Scotsman and he was a heavy drinker by that time already and he pushed me away because he didn’t want me to be involved with his troubles. I tried hard to stay with him but he finally moved abroad. He tried to arrange a simple life in a small village in Bulgaria finally. But as the money run out he almost lived on sweet red wine. He never ever wanted a helping hand. It was so scary to watch him from the distance with no change of giving a hand or at least some support. For me it seemed he just forced an early end by choice. Wich makes me sad even more.Such a wonderful person… drained by alcohol.
Sigh … I got a shock over that news and at least it gave me kick again because I noticed my drinking behaviour is not all right a quite while ago. So I tried to change it but it always worked only for 3 to 4 days to stay sober. Now I finally accepted that I can’t go on like that and I have quit completely. With the help of yours I will succeed. Thank you all!

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