#JVT 1984-2013 Sunday, January 27th, 2013 | Posted by: Ben Dussault
On January 15th 2013 Jon “Vermont” Hughes died at the age of 28. He was a friend with whom I spent a good part of 2010 travelling around the world sharing vans, beds, good and better times. Music brought us together, more specifically my favorite hardcore band coming up in the scene (and still) “Madball” made it happen. As sad as I am right now, mixed up on the idea that life can make you new friends and take them away in seconds I couldn’t be happier that I knew parts of the man Jon is/was to myself and so many.
I have had many moments over the last week where I wished that that a month ago I could have stayed with Jon a little longer during the “Madball” show here in Toronto. Maybe I could have helped him carry his bins after the show and talk more about what was happening in his life. We spoke for a bit, but right now it feels like it wasn’t long enough. I’m happy that I held our hug out a little longer than he was comfortable with, expressing the love we had for each other (I definitely was still holding Jon when we did, he had no choice my clench was too solid). That’s the thing with friendship- even despite the times I was a grumpy a-hole on tour and we’d yell at each other for a couple seconds (because I was a grumpy a-hole), we shared a lot of fun; Those short and moody moments paled in comparison to all the living we did together.
Reminiscing I feel some Sinicism arising- it’s quite the gift that life hands us… we are forced into this world living the life that our caretakers/parents/guardians live. Once we are old enough to feel free choice, we do with our life however please until it is taken away from us willingly/by accident or because nature intended it. Then I think about my own choices, regardless “good” or “bad” they will ultimately result in the same thing- certain death. Maybe not today, tomorrow but definitely one day I will be removed from this life that I committed to living. This is the part of me that feels angry at life unfairly taking people like Jon away from us too soon and others not soon enough. While a large part of me understands why it happens, the other is just plain pissed.
The sadness of his death looms over my head, though I can see life’s M.O. a little clearer with each passing thought/feeling about it’s meaning. I, unlike my friend Jon am given another opportunity to do the most I can with today. I am able to tell the ones I love how I am feeling, share with them my struggles and successes. I can reach out and ask for help, tell other friends that I am glad that they are alive and still a part of my heart. I can live out certain dreams, goals, make a choice to stop making the same mistakes that I make everyday; those that take up unnecessary room in my soul, slow me down and have me working harder on fixing the past rather than building my future.
Jon, I miss you my friend and in your memory I will be reminded to celebrate life while I am still here. Find new ways to embrace opportunity, roll with the punches and make the best of a chaotic day where anything can happen. The new friends I will make, the ones I have will be shown the same love that has been passed on from you to all of us still here.
I’ll see you when I see you Jon, You were and still are missed/loved.
Rest in Peace Brother.