I saw him for the last time on Sunday. He died yesterday. For 15 years he was a member of my family. To put that into perspective, there have only been about 5 years of my life during which my sister was present but he was not. He has been part of my life for more time than either of my grandfathers. There was a time when I was small and light enough to ride around on his back. My sister and I would take naps using him as a pillow when we were younger.
I know it's weird to say this, but he felt like a brother to me. A piece of my heart is missing now that he's gone, and I don't think anything or anyone can ever fill that gap. I'll never forget him.