Eric Lindquist. Age 43. May 21st. Dead.
It happens fast when you snort the wrong thing, or think you’re snorting the right thing and seconds later are no longer alive to realize you completely F’ed up.
I’m not being cold-hearted, I in fact loved the guy for all the same reasons everyone else did. His infectious enthusiasm and humour, his laugh, his creativity. I’m just pissed off he’s gone, sad he was taken, bummed out whenever I think about it.
It’s taken me almost two months to write this. Don’t ask me why, but after finally having a chance to hug-it-out with Eric’s Uncle Frank in Boise this past weekend, and with a couple of his other close friends while attending a wedding, I had to put some thoughts on ‘paper’.
First of all, if former Canucks and NHL beat writer and podcaster Jason Botchford wasn’t enough, or that other guy that you know just a little bit, maybe a friend of a friend, or a buddy’s son who dropped dead from a coke and fentanyl overdose wasn’t enough, you should probably know by now to stay away from the powder.
For any of you who at some point over the years or decades have dabbled in the ‘party favours’, three years ago would have been a good time to quit. Or maybe six years ago.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a casual, recreational or a once-a-year user of elicits, or a chronic and habitual user like our now deceased friends, I would strongly suggest you knock it off.
It’s simply not worth it.
Every time I look at this kid’s photo I get a lump in my throat. And to me he was just a kid. It was probably 15 or 16 years ago when Eric first called me for some broadcasting advice and maybe some help landing a gig. As I worked my way around the land of NHL TV and radio on the east coast, I’d run into Eric periodically. He won the job as the voice of the Worcester Sharks in the American Hockey League and took the market by storm.
They loved him. The team, the fans, the ownership.
From Eric’s obituary in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette:
From his hometown of North Andover to Long Beach and Los Angeles in California and to here, Eric survives in the hearts and minds of teams, fans and anyone fortunate enough to have experienced his infectious enthusiasm and one-of-a-kind wit. To name all of the endeavors and groups Eric was part of is an overwhelming task as he was truly an every-man, deeply involved in every project which he was a part of from coast to coast.
I can’t begin to describe all of his crazy marketing ideas that came to fruition, his earnest commitment to charitable endeavours, or his spontaneous bursts of extroversion. He was entertaining as hell.
Soon after Eric’s death I considered reaching out to ‘Botch’s’ widow, to ask of the sadness, the recovery, the life without her husband, but after consulting with a couple of his close cohorts and friends in Vancouver, we agreed against it. She’s moved on, moved away, found a new man, presently raising her daughters elsewhere. Good for her. Let her be.
Eric didn’t leave a spouse behind, but definitely a girlfriend or two. (He’d get a good laugh from that one). And he leaves behind a legacy we wish he hadn’t left. He should be among us.
The tragedy is the unfulfilled potential of a great life unlived, with no time to say goodbye.