Thursday, April 8, 2010

R.I.P., Hans

Hans Petersen was a ball of energy, a genuinely happy person, and a doer of good. That he died while installing solar panels on a roof reflects his commitment to improving the world.

I last saw Hans in 2006, when I was having a yard sale prior to my move to New York. He came by, chatted for a while, and advised me on a dilemma I was facing: whether or not to try antidepressants. Even when discussing such a potentially sensitive topic, Hans was upbeat, and his words stayed with me. He was one of a small group of people who actively encouraged me to take steps to improve my mental health, and for that I'll always be grateful.

I knew him in college as a dedicated communitarian, a lover of fun, and someone who cherished his friends and appreciated people in general. I'll miss his sunny outlook and his great sense of humor. You left us too early, Hans, and it's clear that you're already widely missed.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Thank you, Neal -- I am devouring any and all Hans-related memories, trying to deal with my heartbreak at his death, and I am taking so much comfort in knowing how many others were as touched by his compassion, kindness and love of humanity.