I heard the news two days ago via a text from a friend.
"Ryan Davis died this weekend!! :("
I couldn't believe it. I thought it was a joke. Surely it couldn't be true. Was my friend joking that being married is akin to death? That he's not doing giantbomb anymore?
Well, no. It was no joke.
I went to the site. There was Matt's post and it stated there in blinding black and white that Ryan had passed away.
I cried. Not for the last time over the last two days. There have been several. Reading the tweets. Seeing the picture of Ryan hugging Norm. Watching videos. Trying to explain it to my girlfriend.
How do you even start to explain how much of an effect someone you've never met dying has on you? How it can reduce you to tears, and fill you with as much sorrow as losing a best friend?
I came across giantbomb by accident years back. I was searching iTunes for gaming podcasts and found it. The first ep was when they got new baffling in the recording room and discussed it for the best part of fifteen minutes. It certainly was different!
I came to the site around episode 50 of the endurance run. Since then I've watched every single piece of original content they've made (at least once), listened to every single podcast (at least once), and been a member of the site as soon as it the membership option became open.
Around two years ago I discovered I had depression. With hindsight, I had for some time. Giantbomb became a friend in those dark days.
Regardless of how bad I was, the team could always force a smile. Always break through the cloudy skies and for just a short while make me feel better. Something that very little else managed to achieve. Listening to the bombcrew laugh, and joke, and talk general nonsense for hours on end managed to make me happy. And it became integral to my healing.
Ryan was the linchpin. He ran the team, made the bombcast great, while still being a character in his own right. Whenever he spoke on the podcast, was in on a quicklook, or in many of the random videos from the site, he always made me feel at ease, comfortable, and happy.
The thing I regret most of all is that I can never tell him that. I can never say how his jokes managed to cheer me up, lift my depression, and even managed to pull me back from the edge more than once. I genuinely believe that the bombcast, and Ryan's work in particular, saved my life. How do you start to explain that to someone? That a group of guys laughing about videogames saved your life? And that not being able to tell him that tears me up?
I wish I'd messaged him. Just once. Just to say thanks. Thanks for the videos, the podcast, and the laughs.
Perhaps in some way this post will do that.
And for the record, thank you to the rest of the crew. Thank you for your hard work, making content that is second to none. And for being part in helping me through the darkest days. If Ryan's death has affected me so deeply I can't begin to imagine how much it must affect those who knew him, let alone were best friends with him for years.
And to Anna, your husband was a truly great man, whose influence and kindness stretched so much further than most.
Thank you Ryan. Rest in piece, my friend.