I Miss You, David Rakoff

When I'm feeling aimless or restless or just plain lost, I have a habit of typing in the names of my role models into Google news searches. I do this so often that I rarely get hits. But last August, new news of David Rakoff—sparkling wordsmith, cynic with a heart of gold, frequent contributor to This American Life—appeared in my search. He had died of cancer.

It wasn't a surprise. As a fan of TAL, I'd seen his astounding performance in last year's live show. And, like everyone else who saw it, I wept.

But this news—the finality of it—was crushing.

My heart still hurts to think about David Rakoff. He is still one of my role models. And he is still one of the people that I Google when I'm feeling empty.

Today I ran across this video (warning: a bit of swearing), in which he discusses why writing actually gets harder as you age instead of easier. I can never, ever, ever hear enough about the struggles of other writers.

Thanks for coming through for me again, David.

More links:

• "Don't trade up" and other advice Ariel Kaminer learned from David.

• Tumblr filled with gifts that David made for his friends.

• David's various appearances on The Daily Show.

This American Life's tribute episode, "Our Friend David."


• David's books on Indiebound.

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