How can I write about such a delicate subject? How can I find strength and inspiration in a hard moment like this one? I would summarize this post in only one word: speechless, but the absence of words may let my thoughts and emotions incomplete. So, I decided to write as the words come to my mind, and they are not easy.
I’ve lost a very dear friend last Friday (March 5th, 2010). His name is Felipe Gaúcho and he had a severe heart attack. I’ve met Felipe in Fortaleza a long time ago. I don’t remember precisely when, but one of his first attitudes with me was to invite me to become a CEJUG Leader. I immediately accepted and I started helping him on several initiatives to make the Ceará Java Community grow up. We were together in this journey until last Friday, when he passed away. His last email to me was last Sunday, our last chat was also a week ago, and his last comment on my blog was last Thursday, copying a link to his most recent post on his blog. He is also in my list of followers, on the right, and will remain there permanently.
I believe that we always get a bit of the personality of our closest friends to incorporate in our own. Felipe was the one who taught to share. No matter what, no matter how, but no idea should be completely trapped into our minds. Writing ideas on papers is not enough. They should be transmitted to other people, who are real agents of transformation. Felipe not only transmitted his ideas but also motivated people to empower them. I have the same belief and I don’t know anyone like him, thus I definitely learned it from him.
Felipe was a young man with strong positions. It took time to convince him about other point of views, but he was the only one I know that once you get to change his position you will be the first one to know that. He comes back to the topic, merges points, discusses other details and goes on the direction of a better overall solution. I believe I improved my diplomacy skills discussing technology and community with him.
He became internationally well known by his open source initiatives and his passion for the Java community.
His focus: undergraduate students.
His intention: prepare students to better face the challenges of the software industry.
His weapon: Java.
His strategy: share learned lessons from the development of open source projects.
His hope: improve the quality of undergraduate courses in Brazil.
In a situation like this, when a young life is interrupted so abruptly, we start thinking how fragile life is. In any case, death is always shocking and touching, but when a person with a closer age dies we get to think about our own existence, how life is short, and how important is every minute breathing.
Rest in peace Felipe. Your family will be constantly comforted by God and You remain in our hearts.