On the 21st of August at 0250 I got the news that one of my good friends, Graeme had passed away after a long struggle with mental illness.

I met Graeme for the first time almost 10 years ago. He was brought into our work in order to provide some training in programming Ruby for the team. At that time, if you were in Scotland and needed help with Ruby - you basically called Graeme. He was a good teacher and his easygoing manner really helped everyone warm to him.

Graeme was the guy who convinced me to go to Edinburgh and visit ScotRUG for the first time. He’s the reason I’m friends with so many wonderful people back home now. Through his involvement in the Scottish Ruby Conference later, he’d encourage me to try public speaking.

I had the honour and the privilege to not just be friends, but colleagues with him too. We worked well together at FreeAgent and on other projects during our time freelancing. He was a better engineer than me, but we had different ways of approaching problems that made us a good team, and very soon we found a decent rhythm for working together. Working closely with him encouraged me to raise my game, and I became better because of it.

I’m sad that I’ll never get to share with him in person what my new life in Tokyo is like. I’m more sad that I’ll never talk to him again and groan at one of his terrible (and I do mean terrible) puns.

Graeme’s funeral will be taking place on what would have been his birthday. I sadly can’t attend, but I’ll be raising a glass to him at the same time as the ceremony is happening back home.

Goodbye Graeme. Thank you for your long and valued friendship. You’ll be missed, but never forgotten.