Forums News and Information Announcements Ode to Lockhart

This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Skyth 1 week, 6 days ago.

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  • #733947

    Heather
    • Posts : 95
    • Bullywug

    Lockhart and Heather

    To my fellow gamers, it is with a heavy heart that I express that Carter Lockhart, a beautiful and wonderful man, had passed away on the 29th of October, 2018. I could try to put everything into words as I have been trying to wrap my head around this situation and have it not ensnare me into a spiral of guilt. But in situations like these, perhaps no one is truly to blame. I am slowly accepting that I did what I could and I can’t torture myself with should have and could have as penance. It was Carter’s choice to make… as painful as that is to admit. I will not disclose the method he used, not on this forum.

    As his wife, I aspired and tried to be his emotional support. I wasn’t the best cleaner of the house, in fact I perhaps neglected parts of the house/apartment in some respects. But, at least I knew I could comfort him in other ways. As I had my moments of motivation issues, he had given me patience. As he found himself dreading to go into work, I offered him understanding, a kiss and a hug. As we talked we built a world and people within it; stories I can’t possibly transcribe and do justice to. Maybe one day I will attempt to be brave enough to try. Carter brought me into the world of Role Play and Board Games. He was so pleased that I started Pokemon on his DS, he’d shake my shoulder gently and say so cutely, “Look at you!” when he caught me watching his YouTube videos of his solo let’s plays, he cringed playfully and try to raise a fuss, which delighted me somewhat.

    We would say “I love you,” at least five times a day to each other. “You are so cute!” or “Do you know how beautiful/handsome you are?” and my favorite, “You are so adorable.”

    Carter liked my bad jokes and shared my appreciation for puns; we would have random duels to see who could groan the hardest. Sometimes he could make me have a giggle fit.

    I just wished with all of my heart that I could have saved him somehow. I may have added three years to his life for all I knew. I would do anything to have those years back and see what I could change or relive again. The stories I could tell you about how I truly knew it was not a crush I felt for Carter but genuine honest to god love. I could tell you how he proposed to me and made me the happiest Texan alive. I could tell you how he got me through my emotional slumps or he’d take care of me when I was feeling unwell. I could tell you where he was ticklish or what his favorite snack was.

    Five years was not enough to be with him. Three years of marriage (where our first year was apart as I worked in the states) was not enough. I could never in a thousand years get enough of Carter Lockhart. I wanted to spend every minute of every day with him. We even joked about how he’d smuggle me into his office, and I could just nap under his desk like a cat.

    One of these days, I might be brave enough to go through his files and see if I can spruce up and send you the rest of Shattered Star, his magnum opus. He was able to finish the main game and there was supposed to be an epilogue, one final golden touch to finish everything off. But then he hit a wall and didn’t quite bounce back as I would have hoped. His confidence and motivation was draining as stresses boiled up inside of him that felt so blind to. I look at his pathfinder collection and truly feel sorrow for all the stories he didn’t have the chance to tell. His plans and ambitions of all the games he wanted to run just disappeared and I can only look on in stunned disbelief. The characters he and I created, the world we built together, feels like it all died with him. That hurts me on such a different level, it’s numbing.

    It’s easy to forget that Depression is a deadly assassin. It can disguise itself behind the mask of anxiety or nervousness, to make you think you have something else. Depression is armed with poisonous darts of motivation killing thoughts and twisted whispers of hopelessness.

    I honestly thought Carter struggled with anxiety, as I did. But the thorny, gnarled affliction in his heart was far worse than we realized. He did confide in me about what occasionally went through his mind. He said he only wanted to protect me and did not want me to worry, perhaps because I have a habit of blaming myself for things I can’t help. He told me what that demon in his head was trying to convince him to do. I could only try to support him and do whatever he needed me to do. I made calls and appointments for him when he felt he couldn’t do it. I cuddled with him on the couch and offered all the comforts I could. I listened to him read aloud and reacted to the situations, which always made him smile. And yet I am here thinking I did not do enough, I did not say enough, or avoided the subject of his pain for too long and merely tried to distract him. I told him I was not an expert in suicidal tendencies but I assured him I loved him and I was so proud to be his wife and wanted him to have a family of his very own. We had such wonderful plans together… but that dark assassin poisoned my husband’s mind for far too long and the clerics of mental health could not fix it fast enough.

    I screamed and sobbed for his death. I wept and mourned and grieved and cried. Honestly I am surprised I still can cry at all. I have faced tragedy before, with my father suddenly dying ten years ago, but even that experience was dwarfed with what this week had given me. My darkest fear became a reality. It would have been easier to accept if it were a car accident, as strange as that sounds. At least I could understand a cause. But the assassin, that demon, in Carter’s mind was just too much. He should have had counselling last year, but he put it off or maybe he didn’t have the strength to call them. He tried counselling before, I believe before I moved up to Canada officially, and it seemed to help. He was able to reach out on his own because he wanted to get better and give our new life together a chance. I asked a few times if he wanted to find a counselor through his work again and he said that was a good idea, but only he knew how to contact them.

    Carter was my best friend as well as my Game Master, my movie buddy, cuddle cookie monster and number one fan if my artwork. He was the love of my life and I will always carry him within my heart. He was thoughtful and giving. He had the best laugh, the best tactics, the best ideas. His chest and shoulder was the perfect pillow for lazy mornings, his arms were wonderful to be wrapped around me. I would scratch his beard and he would humor me with a delighted purr. He was a father figure to his two nieces and I hope they will help carry his legacy forward as well.

    I will never be 100% okay after this, and I have accepted that. I doubt anyone will be. But, time only goes forward for us and we just have to keep walking onward. And I promise to stop blaming myself.

    My husband has touched so many lives, it is staggering to see. If only we had seen it sooner. I am sure he would have been proud with what he had done for the community he had the honor to help shape. I am proud that so many people will remember him so fondly. He is at peace now regardless and I will have to accept that one day. For now I know I need to nurse my wounds and try to soldier on. I know I have family and friends to help me along the way and I am so very truly grateful.

    My husband has fallen. But do not let his story fade. If you feel you are struggling, even if it feels minimal and not worth mentioning to others, please do. Reach out, be it through text, emails, forums, Ted talks, phone calls, your church, your work, your family doctor, please reach out to get help. Protect yourself from that demonic assassin and arm yourself with support and self compassion. Control is possible, you just have to solve the dungeon’s puzzle first, and you don’t have to be alone. Don’t wait to see if you get better, or you may hit a wall and not have the strength to get back up again. Please, reach out, someone will take your hand and hoist you back up. Be kind to others and most importantly, be kind to yourself. Remind yourself that you are doing your best and only you can have control. Remember to wear your armor and arm yourself with self-compassion, encouragement and discipline. It’s okay to ask for help. Don’t let tragedy stop or hinder you, don’t you dare. Let this teach you. Someone can smile and laugh brightly and show you the sun through their passions, meanwhile there can be a thorny patch within their heart that grows and grows. If you or someone you know starts to act differently, keep at them, encourage them to get help, don’t just wait for them like I had done. Talk, be patient and kind for each other, and remind yourselves that you are not alone. Who knows, you may have people who like you at work. You may have more friends than you think, and you shouldn’t worry if they are busy, because they will make the time for you. Don’t do what we did and wait it through.

    I loved Carter deeply, I know he loved me too. I am still processing just how I feel about everything. I will mourn my husband for years to come. I am a hallow person right now and will be for a good long while. But I will get better with time. One day I will forgive myself. I will try to be active in my husband’s seed. He still had stories on his computer that needs to be submitted on the forum. Perhaps I will write his epilogue myself and try to give it all the justice it deserves. Part of Carter will live on and I can find comfort in that.

    To those that knew him, try your best to celebrate Carter’s life and influences. Even if you didn’t meet him personally, I promise he wasn’t that different away from the mic. Celebrate him because he would not so many people to mourn him for long. Remember his stories as I do my best to share mine. This too, shall pass. We may not like it, but it will.

    • This topic was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by  Hal.
    #733948

    Hal
    Admin
    • Posts : 7722
    • Treant

    Heather. I am so sorry this has happened.

    We love you. We are here for you. Please let us know if there is anything you need or there is anything we can do for you. I had forgotten about “the nieces”. Please give them a hug from all of us (and get one in return), they have been on camera more than a few times.

    Thank you for posting something. This place is not going to be the same without Lockhart.

    Hal

    #733949

    Thing
    Admin
    • Posts : 4510
    • Drider

    So sorry for your loss Heather, and really for all our losses. Carter was a great man, and a fantastic gamer/gm/actor/. He has left a legacy of tales, recordings, and memories for many of us.

    My father ended his own life after living in pain for a period, when I was very young. After learning this it took me a while to process it, but it was a comfort to me to know that his pains had ended.

    If you need to talk, or need any help I can provide please don’t hesitate to let me know. You are a dear friend.

    Thing/Gordon

    #733955

    Reverse
    • Posts : 39
    • Flumph

    Like many here, I had never met Lockhart in person (technology makes what was 20 years ago impossible commonplace). But I had spent many happy hours talking to him about things geeky, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to express to him how much it all meant to me. He was absolutely the direct inspiration for one of the happiest parts of my life. There is nothing more we can do to pay him back or help him now, and all we can do for ourselves is remember the good times as we move on.

    I remember receiving the Jade Regent adventure path around 6 years ago as ‘maybe, someday, sometime, hopefully’ present from my wife to run for a group game. Researching into it, I stumbled across Lockhart’s recordings (and RPGMP3 as a whole). His characters – a particular high point being his hyper-confident ladies man pseudo-Russian-accented Sandru Vhiski – were so immediately alive I knew I could – and simply had to – rip this talented guy off to run Jade Regent myself. And with the strength of Lockhart’s characters to call upon to work as NPCs, I could run it as a solo game, a personal joy between my wife and I. A few years later, the circle returned around as Lockhart began to listen to my recordings and we had the opportunity to speak.

    That was now well over 500 hours of my wife and I roleplaying together ago (with an anticipation of many more to come), a collection of quality time that would simply not have happened without Lockhart. I cannot overemphasise enough how much joy he has bought to my marriage, a joy we will keep and share for the rest of our lives together. Then there is my own private joy, of the endless hours listening that Lockhart filled making me laugh and cheer, helping me through my own depressed and down moments, and the joy that has passed through me to my own friends and players and listeners. His span of influence has spread joy 14,000 kilometres and more across the world, and I am glad I had the opportunity to tell him as much.

    I remember the joy of realising that ‘oh, it’s that girl’ Heather had become girlfriend Heather and then wife Heather – he richly deserved the happiness. I’d helped him listen and edit through Shattered Star, and seen his joy at getting his investment in it completed. He and I had made quiet plots and plans for him to run his own solo game for Heather. The enthusiasm and happiness the concept bought him was obvious, as was his love for her. Thank you, Heather, for the clear delight that you bought into his life. His love for you was obvious and undeniable.

    We’d talked about the ideas of my running online games of Call of Cthulhu for him and Heather. We’d talked of recordings and campaigns to come, a flurry of ideas and adventures. We’d talked of many things that now will not be, and many futures lost I will mourn. Like all who knew him, I wish we had had the chance of more time.

    I will remember him most through his endless variety of voices, which I have shamelessly and cheesily stolen over years of games, just as Lockhart stole them cheesily from a variety of his childhood movies. The definitions of his characters have bled directly into my brain, impossible to separate out. Every time a Varisian speaks, I will hear Sandru. Everytime somebody stumbles with an unfamiliar language, I will hear “Brunsk Want Job.”

    Go with God, my friend, in love and peace. May we remember your life as we move past the tragedy of your death. Your ideas and your legacy will live on in us all.

    Heather, as everyone has rightly expressed, we are all here for what little we can do. The support network is not geographically close, but it is here.

    – Jared

    #733956

    EvilAardvark
    • Posts : 27
    • Flumph

    I didn’t know Lockhart, I never spoke to him, but still… he made my life better.

    I get a lot of back pain, and I listen to podcasts to distract me as I go to sleep. Hundreds, maybe thousands, of nights, over many years, I’ve drifted off to sleep with Lockhart’s warm voice in my head. He was always calm, and tolerant, understanding and engaging. His stories drew me in, helped me relax, and let me rest and get through life. And for that, I am grateful to him.

    I’m not a spiritual person, but I hope that whatever comes next, he has the peace and harmony he deserves.

    I hope you find your own kind of peace as well Heather. I’m sure it is piss-poor consolation, but if it is worth anything, there is one more person out there thinking about you, shedding a tear for your loss and fervently hoping that you can look after yourself, reaching out to whomever you need to for support. Be well.

    #733960

    Skyth
    • Posts : 74
    • Bullywug

    Sorry to hear about this. I loved listening to Lockhart’s GM’ing.

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