Content warning: this is a post about death and loss.
There's nothing quite like the passing of a friend to make you acutely aware of mortality. Both that of yourself and those around you.
I've never really considered this all that much in the past. Reality, however, recently decided to bring it all to the forefront of my attention. In some poetic sense I guess it was inevitable sooner or later. I'm fortunate that this is the first time it's happened to me.
Truer words were never spoken: sometimes, you don't realise what you've got until it's gone. It really cuts deeper than you expect it. As much as the phrase grates with me, losing a "pillar of the community" seems especially tough. It changes things; it changes the community, for better or for worse. The community is their legacy -- it's what we have left behind them to remember them by. Especially when they were fundamental in bringing the community into the place and form that it is today. (Especially when that community was an important part of their life for such a long time.)
After someone passes on, I suppose they are, indeed, really only defined by how all of us left behind still remember them. Living on "in memory" as the turn of phrase goes. And I think we as a community are responsible for continuing to remember them; how they shaped the space, and how the space shaped them. And how the space will be shaped by their absence.
I was originally going to write quite a bit more here, but really there's not much more that can be said at this point. There's little more that needs to be said. What's done is done, and we all ride into the future, one soul short and mourning for the friends we lost along the way.
Rest well, Vic. I hope you're in a better place now. You'll be missed.