Perspective…

I am still thinking a lot about David Boschmans lately. He was our gracious host in Belgium when we visited in December of 2005. Spent a lot of time driving Maryam and me around and hosting dinners and having us speak at Microsoft and other places. Proudly talked about his new family (he has a two-year-old daughter, he was so proud of her). Shared more than one beer with us and was clearly liked and trusted by lots of geeks in Belgium. Here’s a picture of me with David.

Two weeks ago he died unexpectedly in his sleep. He was 32.

His death hit me and Maryam hard. Harder than other tragedies in the tech world have hit me lately.

It gets down to who is a “real friend” and who is an “online friend.” David was an online friend who turned real over beers in Brussels.

He also reminded me that every day is a gift. I’ve had 10 more years of those gifts than he’s had. He did a lot in his short time here.

I look around the Web and see the love for David from around the world. Tom Raftery, Ireland’s top tech blogger, wrote about him. Roy Osherove, one of my favorite bloggers in Israel, did a video for him.

If you search Google for his name you’ll see page after page of people who were touched by David. Nathan Weinberg links to lots of the best stuff about David.

Anyway, what are you doing with today? That’s what David keeps asking me.

Today I’m thinking about a guy who took a few days out of his life to make sure we had a good time in a foreign land. He had a new daughter at home and, I’m sure, plenty of better things to do. The memories of him are among my most prized possessions. Worth more to me than an iPhone or an HDTV. It’s why I love traveling the world and hanging out with geeks.

I’m honored to have shared a beer with him and he definitely left a void in the tech world that won’t easily be filled. Thank you David!

88 thoughts on “Perspective…

  1. Proudly talked about his new family (he has a two-year-old daughter, he was so proud of her). Shared more than one beer with us and was clearly liked and trusted by lots of geeks in Belgium.

  2. Proudly talked about his new family (he has a two-year-old daughter, he was so proud of her). Shared more than one beer with us and was clearly liked and trusted by lots of geeks in Belgium.

  3. hi david’s death due to cardiac arrest?
    it was a heart crushing news
    but at the age of 32 cardiac arrest still occurs nowadays in our modern life
    i’m also trying to reach out for my online friends for get together

  4. hi david’s death due to cardiac arrest?
    it was a heart crushing news
    but at the age of 32 cardiac arrest still occurs nowadays in our modern life
    i’m also trying to reach out for my online friends for get together

  5. hi david’s death due to cardiac arrest?
    it was a heart crushing news
    but at the age of 32 cardiac arrest still occurs nowadays in our modern life
    i’m also trying to reach out for my online friends for get together

  6. Robert,
    I’m sorry for the loss all of David’s friends (virtual or otherwise) feel. It’s not how many friends you have, it’s not how often you communicate. It’s how deeply your presence was felt by others. David obviously shared a great deal of himself with others. I’m sure he was grateful what you all gave him in return. Now, I’m leaving the office early to go home and hug my wife and kids.

  7. Robert,
    I’m sorry for the loss all of David’s friends (virtual or otherwise) feel. It’s not how many friends you have, it’s not how often you communicate. It’s how deeply your presence was felt by others. David obviously shared a great deal of himself with others. I’m sure he was grateful what you all gave him in return. Now, I’m leaving the office early to go home and hug my wife and kids.

  8. Robert,
    I’m sorry for the loss all of David’s friends (virtual or otherwise) feel. It’s not how many friends you have, it’s not how often you communicate. It’s how deeply your presence was felt by others. David obviously shared a great deal of himself with others. I’m sure he was grateful what you all gave him in return. Now, I’m leaving the office early to go home and hug my wife and kids.

  9. A online friend of mine died a few days ago, so I’ve been thinking about some of the same things, Robert.

    In the physical world around us, people come and go all the time, day in and day out, month in and month out. But virtual friends are always there somehow. You sit and right an email and it’s as if they are right there. Same with writing on their blog or on a bulletin board that they frequent. As you write, they are present to you. You know they are listening to you and that they will respond. The time between doesn’t matter. There is no come and go. The presence just *is*.

    As I wrote on my blog:

    It’s sad and difficult to think of Arnold as not there anymore. Not seeing him isn’t a help to get over that. I never saw him.

    But, Lord, how I will miss him.

  10. A online friend of mine died a few days ago, so I’ve been thinking about some of the same things, Robert.

    In the physical world around us, people come and go all the time, day in and day out, month in and month out. But virtual friends are always there somehow. You sit and right an email and it’s as if they are right there. Same with writing on their blog or on a bulletin board that they frequent. As you write, they are present to you. You know they are listening to you and that they will respond. The time between doesn’t matter. There is no come and go. The presence just *is*.

    As I wrote on my blog:

    It’s sad and difficult to think of Arnold as not there anymore. Not seeing him isn’t a help to get over that. I never saw him.

    But, Lord, how I will miss him.

  11. A online friend of mine died a few days ago, so I’ve been thinking about some of the same things, Robert.

    In the physical world around us, people come and go all the time, day in and day out, month in and month out. But virtual friends are always there somehow. You sit and right an email and it’s as if they are right there. Same with writing on their blog or on a bulletin board that they frequent. As you write, they are present to you. You know they are listening to you and that they will respond. The time between doesn’t matter. There is no come and go. The presence just *is*.

    As I wrote on my blog:

    It’s sad and difficult to think of Arnold as not there anymore. Not seeing him isn’t a help to get over that. I never saw him.

    But, Lord, how I will miss him.

  12. Re:

    > Suggestion: Why don’t you commit yourself
    > celebrate his life by helping someone alive
    > in the way he would have to another person
    > if he were alive today? Everyday.

    Good idea, what happened to these guys? :

    http://scobleizer.com/2007/05/04/my-parental-heroes/

    Did they ever get a nice evening out, candles + wine + fine food at our expense? Someone to looks after the kiddies while they take a break?

    monk.e.boy

  13. Re:

    > Suggestion: Why don’t you commit yourself
    > celebrate his life by helping someone alive
    > in the way he would have to another person
    > if he were alive today? Everyday.

    Good idea, what happened to these guys? :

    http://scobleizer.com/2007/05/04/my-parental-heroes/

    Did they ever get a nice evening out, candles + wine + fine food at our expense? Someone to looks after the kiddies while they take a break?

    monk.e.boy

  14. Re:

    > Suggestion: Why don’t you commit yourself
    > celebrate his life by helping someone alive
    > in the way he would have to another person
    > if he were alive today? Everyday.

    Good idea, what happened to these guys? :

    http://scobleizer.com/2007/05/04/my-parental-heroes/

    Did they ever get a nice evening out, candles + wine + fine food at our expense? Someone to looks after the kiddies while they take a break?

    monk.e.boy

  15. Hi Robert,

    Last Saturday there was a service in church to remember David.

    Even though I knew David really well, this was the first time I met his wife Veerle.
    Veerle was really touched by all the support she was getting from family, friends and colleagues. It’s great to see David really meant something to so many people.

    Like Kris Hoet indicated, you can leave a message here: http://david.vsdotnet.be/ or post a picture of him on this FLickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/davidboschmans/

    Today is the first schoolday (ever) for David’s daughter. I hope she’ll get every opportunity to grow up to be as a remarkable person as her father was.

  16. Hi Robert,

    Last Saturday there was a service in church to remember David.

    Even though I knew David really well, this was the first time I met his wife Veerle.
    Veerle was really touched by all the support she was getting from family, friends and colleagues. It’s great to see David really meant something to so many people.

    Like Kris Hoet indicated, you can leave a message here: http://david.vsdotnet.be/ or post a picture of him on this FLickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/davidboschmans/

    Today is the first schoolday (ever) for David’s daughter. I hope she’ll get every opportunity to grow up to be as a remarkable person as her father was.

  17. Hi Robert,

    Last Saturday there was a service in church to remember David.

    Even though I knew David really well, this was the first time I met his wife Veerle.
    Veerle was really touched by all the support she was getting from family, friends and colleagues. It’s great to see David really meant something to so many people.

    Like Kris Hoet indicated, you can leave a message here: http://david.vsdotnet.be/ or post a picture of him on this FLickr group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/davidboschmans/

    Today is the first schoolday (ever) for David’s daughter. I hope she’ll get every opportunity to grow up to be as a remarkable person as her father was.

  18. Asking whether friends you’ve met online are real or not is like asking whether you met your wife at a coffee shop or church. To me its the connection that matters, and it can be as “real” in the digital world as it is in the analog world.

    I think Steve Jobs said it best, when asked by an reporter what motivated him, by responding with the fact that he could die tomorrow.

    It’s cliche, but we must try to all live our lives that way with plenty of zeal, few regrets and even fewer grudges.

  19. Asking whether friends you’ve met online are real or not is like asking whether you met your wife at a coffee shop or church. To me its the connection that matters, and it can be as “real” in the digital world as it is in the analog world.

    I think Steve Jobs said it best, when asked by an reporter what motivated him, by responding with the fact that he could die tomorrow.

    It’s cliche, but we must try to all live our lives that way with plenty of zeal, few regrets and even fewer grudges.

  20. Asking whether friends you’ve met online are real or not is like asking whether you met your wife at a coffee shop or church. To me its the connection that matters, and it can be as “real” in the digital world as it is in the analog world.

    I think Steve Jobs said it best, when asked by an reporter what motivated him, by responding with the fact that he could die tomorrow.

    It’s cliche, but we must try to all live our lives that way with plenty of zeal, few regrets and even fewer grudges.

  21. What did he die of? Cardiac arrest? 32 is a very young age to die…

    I ask myself almost everyday what would I do if this was the last day of my life.

  22. What did he die of? Cardiac arrest? 32 is a very young age to die…

    I ask myself almost everyday what would I do if this was the last day of my life.

  23. Next time I see you, Robert, I’m going to give you a really big hug. My thoughts are with you and your lovely wife.

  24. Next time I see you, Robert, I’m going to give you a really big hug. My thoughts are with you and your lovely wife.

  25. Next time I see you, Robert, I’m going to give you a really big hug. My thoughts are with you and your lovely wife.

  26. Very nice, touching post. It sounds like he left quite an impression. I’m new to blogging and have started to create some friendships online. I’m amazed at how I can strike up a relationship with someone I haven’t met or spoke to on the phone with…of course it’s different than my friends I see face to face but it is still a form of connecting with others.

    Good luck with your pending arrival…focus on the positives about life and how you can contribute to the joy in the world by being a great father!

  27. Very nice, touching post. It sounds like he left quite an impression. I’m new to blogging and have started to create some friendships online. I’m amazed at how I can strike up a relationship with someone I haven’t met or spoke to on the phone with…of course it’s different than my friends I see face to face but it is still a form of connecting with others.

    Good luck with your pending arrival…focus on the positives about life and how you can contribute to the joy in the world by being a great father!

  28. Very nice, touching post. It sounds like he left quite an impression. I’m new to blogging and have started to create some friendships online. I’m amazed at how I can strike up a relationship with someone I haven’t met or spoke to on the phone with…of course it’s different than my friends I see face to face but it is still a form of connecting with others.

    Good luck with your pending arrival…focus on the positives about life and how you can contribute to the joy in the world by being a great father!

  29. Awwwwww, that really does suck. 32? Young guy with a young family…

    As with a few of the previous commenters – your post hit hard for me, Robert. My condolences and if anyone from Mr. Boschmans family is reading – Eendracht maakt macht. Gather your family around you in these hard times.

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