Warren Chan November 13, 1962 - January 2, 2012
I never knew why so many people say they don't wanna talk about it, when a good friend dies. Now I understand completely.
Warren Chan, 49, of Hollister, CA, passed away on January 2, 2012 of natural causes. Born November 13, 1962, in Hollister. He is survived by his parents, Frank and Christine Chan, his siblings, Laura and Andrew, his wife Kara and his son Mason.
He was a graduate of San Benito High School and San Diego State University. He was currently working as a Network Infrastructure Specialist at Hazel Hawkins Hospital.
Christie Ferguson introduced me to Warren Chan in the winter of 1998. We became instant friends and remained so until his passing on the second of January. As you may have noticed, it's taken me from January second of this year until now (08/28/2012) to be able to sit down and write this without breaking into tears.
Warren Chan was a good man. He kept some things secret from me and other things he minimized, like the Sleep Apnea that was the likely cause of his death. Warren was such a likable guy that most people couldn't dislike him for more than a few minutes. He was brilliantly smart, strong and capable. I suppose that's why I was so stunned when I heard the news. He was back in California, after losing his job here in Vegas and we hadn't talked for a few weeks. It was the final part of a long, slow downward spiral that brought him to his end.
It must have been horrible for him to watch his life fall apart before his eyes. One minute, he was working for the FBI, with a pretty wife and new son and the next, he was out of work and struggling. I can't imagine what that must have been like; watching everything crumble, piece by piece, your entire life coming undone, everything you've built, destroyed. Gone.
He ended up heading back home to Hollister, California and staying with his family. Anyone who thinks destroying the American economy can't be deadly is crazy. Some times the foolish actions of a few can have fatal consequences for the rest of us.
While Warren struggled to find work in California, his wife grew tired of the struggle and moved on. It wasn't long before she left him for a gentleman earning a fairly sizable income. After the divorce, Warren was never the same. He put up a good front, but he was hollow. Empty. Defeated.
The Coroner said Warren's heart was swollen at the time of his death, indicating Sleep Apnea may have been responsible. I couldn't help thinking that he died of a broken heart. He was a broken man who died of a broken heart. I wanted those words written on his Death Certificate and etched on his tombstone!
"HERE LIES WARREN CHAN. A BROKEN MAN WHO DIED OF A BROKEN HEART."
After I got word of his death, I was unable to sleep for about a week. I kept having recurring nightmares of his little boy finding him in the morning and being unable to wake him and seeing him struggle to breath that night only to succumb, alone in the dark.
It was very hard in the beginning, but now I suppose I'm glad he went in his sleep. I guess there are far worse ways to die. I remember thinking, I should have called him more, that I should have been more supportive, that I should have been nicer. I remember thinking I should never have let the little things bother me. I remember feeling that it was all a lie. That any minute Warren was going to text me or call. I still can't believe it, actually. I can still hear his voice and see his face. He's right here with me, just like always. He's a part of me and of everything that I am. I still have his voice on my answering machine and I still have loads of things he gave me, all of which are now filled with great sentimental value. Warren is still with me. He's a part of me and everything I do and everything I write.
Warren was a very strong-willed person. He would get into arguments with his father or his siblings and the resentment would last for years. If he felt he was right, which he almost always was, he would never, ever let if go or give in. He had his bad side. He would tease me all the time whenever I made a mistake or did something stupid. Warren used to brag when things were going well and I suppose some part of me felt it was just when things started to go wrong. Warren could be cold, petty, childish, snobby, touchy, spiteful and even cruel at times, especially if he felt you were his enemy. Warren held himself to very high standards and expected others to do the same.
Still, he was a good and loyal friend. He was there for me countless times when I needed him. His advice was always brilliant and timely. He could make me laugh no matter what was going on in my life. He would call me up at midnight and play guitar and sing horribly over the phone. I used to love to watch him playing with his son. It was the warmest thing I'd ever seen. Whenever he watched the heavy-set comic, Will Sasso, of MadTV imitate Steven Seagal, he would laugh so hard I was convinced that all six feet, three inches of him would fall over flat. He was a wonderfully complex human being with as many faults as virtues and I'm certain God enjoyed Warren as much as Warren enjoyed his life.
Warren was so big and strong and so confident, it was contagious. He was the last person I would ever expect to die suddenly in his sleep. When I was around him, I always felt like he might run right through a wall at any moment. Warren Chan was a brilliant man, a loving father and a very special friend. I loved Warren Chan very much, faults and all. He was a lot of things to a lot of people, but above all, he stood for what he believed in, unwaveringly, and never, ever backed down.
Tom Petty - I Won't Back Down
Legendary Tom Petty - I Won't Back Down.
"I Won't Back Down"
Well I won't back down, no I won't back down
You could stand me up at the gates of hell
But I won't back down
Gonna stand my ground, won't be turned around
And I'll keep this world from draggin' me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won't back down
Hey baby, there ain't no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won't back down
Well I know what's right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I'll stand my ground and I won't back down
Hey baby there ain't no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won't back down
No, I won't back down
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Dedicated to Warren Chan November 13, 1962 - January 2, 2012
"I love you, big brother. As usual, you've gone on ahead. Don't worry. I'll look out for Mason. Leave some Heaven for the rest of us."
- "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion." -- Thomas Paine
- "To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right." -- Confucius