One of my fondest childhood memories is me sitting on a sled, being dragged along a thinly snow covered road by my dad. I was looking up at him and reflecting on the fact that he is also an individual person, just as I am. He has his own thoughts, his own wants, and his own memories. He’d had an entire life to live before I even existed.
Before he had me and my sister, he struggled with substance abuse and addiction, but managed to get over it with the help of religion and will power. I never knew anything about this, and never suspected anything until he had a relapse when I was a young teenager. This led to my parents breaking up and me not talking to him for a couple of years. When I eventually got over it and forgave him, we developed a very close and loving relationship.
He was around when Rolf and I made Wurm Online, and would play it a lot. He ran his own homestead and built some alliances, before finally getting tired of the game and moving on to Half Life 1 and 2. He’d sometimes call me and ask how to get past a certain point, and I would try to give him subtle hints. He had moved pretty far away in the country, both to avoid bad influences in Stockholm, and to isolate himself. I’d go visit sometimes.
Once during a spring visit, we went out with his car to a beautiful lake area and had some coffee and sandwiches, when his dog suddenly ran out on the very thin ice. We freaked out a bit and yelled at the dog to come back when the ice suddenly gave out and the dog fell in. It struggled to get up for a while before giving up and just hanging on to the ice, at which point my dad lays down on the ice and starts sliding out towards the dog. I’m running around, looking for a long stick or something (I wasn’t entirely sure what I would do with it, I just vaguely remembered something about long sticks being useful for ice accidents). I find one, turn around, see my dad being really close to the dog when all of the sudden a big chunk of ice around him breaks loose, tips over, and my dad falls in. I freak out. Then he stands up, the water only reaching about hip height.
The speed at which things had escalated from beautiful spring day to almost losing my dad was incredibly scary, and then suddenly realizing there never was any real danger sent me into a state of shock. I love my dad.
When I said I wanted to quit my day job and work on my own games, he was the only person who told me they supported my decision. When I made Minecraft, he was incredibly proud. He saw me win awards, and he saw the fans embrace the games, and he saw me start my own company. I said I wanted to fly him to Minecon, and he was reluctant because he wasn’t very comfortable with crowds of people, but he still went. He was obviously very proud of me the entire time, but acted a bit strange. We were afraid he had started abusing again.
He had wanted to move back to Sweden to be able to spend more time with us, so I helped him with the rent on a small house just outside of Stockholm, but at the last minute, he backed out. He had begun drinking alcohol again, and his anti-depressant drugs was making him act a bit strange at times.
The speed at which things escalated from him wanting to move back home to him shooting himself in the head was incredibly scary. His last thoughts, wants and memories was one year ago. I now have an entire life to live without him existing.