In all my years, I’ll never understand why good men and women are taken from us just about when we need them the most. Dean Barnett was a Boston native and a fantastic writer – a conservative blogger at that. He passed away the other day from Cystic Fibrosis at the young age of 41.
I didn’t know of Dean’s blog when I was living in Boston, I had only heard him subbing for Hugh Hewitt on the radio in the last few years – after I moved to Minnesota.
James Lileks, who also appears on Hewitt’s show from time to time, penned this tribute:
You know what’s odd? I have no idea what he looked like. I have an idea, but it’s probably wrong. Again with the saccharine notion of the afterlife with the clouds and the wings and the harp: Dean walks up behind people and shouts “CHOWDAH,” and we know right away who it is. Whoever is standing there when we turn around, that’s him. The plucky smart kid with the fatal disease.
I’ve been hearing his voice in my head all night, frankly. Hard to forget. Why would you?
And his close friend, Hugh Hewitt, also writes:
Had he had more time, he would have been one of the great influences on the GOP for as long as he lived, probably because he valued and used every minute he had.
Dean told me early in our friendship that his disease had forced him to deal with the possibility of living too short a life and that he thus threw himself into everything. This ferocious desire to live well and fully is what I will always tell people marked Dean Barnett.
We all go, eventually… and some of us cross that river far too early in life. But not everyone takes the chance to really live..