I lost a friend this week. His name is John Fraser, he lived in London and helped me a lot in life yet I never had chance to meet him in person which I sadly regret. What I am most thankful for when it comes to the internet is social media, twitter especially. It’s allowed me to communicate and meet people who would have passed by in the world without me knowing. This is how I met John Fraser also nearly five years ago.
You’re probably wondering why I’m writing about him but I just wanted even if it’s just a few people to know this man. An everyday man but meant a lot to those around him. He was a man who was always friendly, giving and informative. He was passionate on science, politics and equal rights, charitable and funny. Not afraid to ask the questions that mattered and were important. He was the man who would always reply to you and speak good advice and got on good terms with everyone. Each week he would have new articles, videos and artwork to share with me to help my work and studies. If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have a love for the walking dead, (though only a small thing it disheartened me how he will miss the rest of this walking dead season and doctor who special because I know how much he adored the shows) musical theatre, public speaking and most of all radio comedy. He got me fixed to the drug of radio comedy like just a minute, I’m sorry I haven’t a clue and I’m sorry I’ll read that again. He told me how each night he would listen to just a minute to fall asleep and I do the very same each night now.
It was only today when I stopped and thought about it that it was also John who got me my first paid commission as a graphic designer. He got me in touch with this disability support group who was looking for a logo which I never would have come across. He was always a supporter of my work, whether it being part of the artwork, providing feedback, sources or advertisement.
What I thank for most though is his support and advice when I was coming to terms with my sexuality. It was him as a gay older man (compared to me) that I asked for advice on who I was and coming out. He was supportive all the way. I think it would have took me longer to be proud of my sexuality if not for John. Through John I got to know more people through twitter and developed an online twitter community. This makes me sound sad but it’s true and twitter can be a great place for small and safe communication to utter strangers.
I guess this is my way of remembering John and I hope others do too. My regret is that in his last few days before he passed away that I wasn’t in touch with him and that I never had the chance to meet him. I guess that makes me a bad friend. Unless you have online friends yourself you won’t understand how important they can be. Unlike friends physically in your life you can be more open with them, these people you talk to daily and do get to know well despite never meeting them. I don’t feel this article has done him justice. Please don’t do the same as I did and remember how good friends can be and how they affect your life. Please every now and then let them know that.
John Frazer passed away peacefully on Friday Afternoon November 21st. Even in death he thought of us friends in the online world and let us know of his fate. My thoughts go out to his family.