Hi Luke, I think that’s about 1 or 2 months after I heard your latest news. Hope you are all well in heaven! I’m sure your family miss you most, and I am just a very normal firends in your life; but I think I also miss you.
I wrote letters to you in dream, in my day dreams and when I’m drunk. I don’t know why? Maybe it’s because I used to admire you. Acctually I admire so much people, but I never let them now. I feel shy to let someone know that I’m a fan boy, say Steve Jobs. You are not as great as Steve Jobs I think, but you are great! I feel that my poor English expression limited my ability to express my feeling, but that’s what I’m trying to improve for very long time after I work with some people you know in ThoughtWorks, that’s a part of golden time in my life. OK, let me pour my feelings out now.
Back to 2007, I joined a team in ThoughtWorks studio. The guy who recruit me is Jez Humble and Hukai, you know those 2 funny guys, they are great. I was suppose to work in Cruise Control team, which was called Cruise team and later Go team. But the first job I did in TW is acctually in Mingle team, because both teams belong to Studio. I remember David Rice or Jen Marley introduce you to me. They said that you are great UX guy, and you can draw wireframe but also write html and css. That’s what I’m looking for when I join that company, being a cross-function specialist in team. And when I first talk with you I learn that there is a thing called wire-frame, which is a series of sketch shows the interation of UI. That’s great for a super junior developer, that’s the first time I learn that there is tool stimulate conmmunicate before something is deliveried. And with your wire-frame, I feel it’s quite confident to deliver a piece of UI without bother too much for a PS guy. But that’s not what blows my mind, when I see you doing a presentation in sprint planning, I was shocked. That’s the first time I see how a people showing off something before it’s implemented, that’s what we call lean nowdays. You play the magic which make us feels like watching a movie, imagine a hi-fi world with some black and white lines. OK, I shouldn’t make those moments magical, they acctually like old people told their life story, it’s quite plain and peaceful when it’s happending. I remember Jen told me that your time is precious, because you also have other things to do. You are a busy man.
It’s not far until I get a chance to see you face to face. That’s a away day of ThoughtWorks. It happens in Great Wall of China. I remember that you looks doesn’t match my imagination (I doesn’t see you picture before I see you). You are small, and soft. I remember you wear a red bennie, which is pretty special. I think I got lots of chance talking with you that day, because we talks a lot over skype. Beijing is my home town, so I want to share my knownledge of Beijing to you. And I think you like talking with me, which made me feel exciting. I remember that you mentioned that you like photography, and you did take lots of pictures on that day. My English is not very fluent at that age, and I think that’s not a barrier between us.
After we come back from Away day, you continued working for some days in Beijing office. I remember you shared that you must install a Parallel VM which running Windows, so that you can use a Powerpoint to draw wire frame. That’s the first time I feel respect about Microsoft, because you describe why Powerpoint is better to do wire-frame, and the Ribbon UI in Office 2007 is a big improvement in the industry. You show me how to do wire frame in powerpoint, and how utilize C&P which brings smooth experience for end user.
I didn’t see you after about half year after that. Then you come back to Beijing and did a cross team building. I remember Chris Stevenson also joined ThoughtWorks Studio, my impression for him is a purple monster (because he describe himeself like that after he got allergies). I rember that we have good time in Karaoke. I ordered “Can you feel the love tonight” to whole team, and you and Chris grabed Mic before me. But I got mic from you (thank you, you saw that I want to borrow your mic), so I can sing that song. Seems that’s the only English song I can sing in Karaoke, LOL. I remember you played tambourine instead, and you play very well; and you wore a red bennie with you. You did Jamming dance that day, that’s a suprise, you were fancy guy.
And after that I think I didn’t see you for another long time, I heard that you are starting a new business in Manchester. Then you become the head of Manchester businees in UK, that’s a big deal, I felt prod of you. Because I thought a UX pelple was also good at business is a miracle.
But I got another chance to see you in Beijing office. You were really busy at that trip. But you spent some time with me for Mingle project. I remember that we draw some wire frame together. That’s awesome! It’s like working with your star as a fan boy. I remember that I asked you how you make the looks and feel good in hi-fi design. You show me that you have a folder in desktop which includes lots of screen shots of different products and web-sites. You said those things inspire you when you want to create a hi-fi design. So you should find some feelings from heuristic brain storm, then you should find those elements in your design collection. Then you will find the graphic elements and colors for your new design. You mapped abstraction into details, so you have a practical plan to implement those designs. OK, that’s a big deal to me. I degist this for long time, and I think I do learn something from that.
After that, I didn’t see you face to face again. As far as I remember.
But skype and facebook notify me of your birthday. Year after year, I don’t remmber how much years is that. I thought I’m too normal a person in your life, you will forget me after some time. Because you are head of UK business then, and I already left TW. But you did remmber me, and say thank you for each greating. I remember that you poke me for my birthday too. That’s a weak relation, as a good friend looking each other across river. I enjoy that I know a good person like you. I saw you post lots of things about charity, like breast cancer run and some other thigns. And I saw you get merried and have babies. That’s great, I did that too. I feel that I know this is a serious life change, you were taking more and more responsibility.
In this year, I clearly remember that you joined a event “Live below the line“. I remember you have a tight budget to eat, and we can donate money for poor people who really live below the line. I feel proud of you. That’s a good sign when a adult play great social responsibility, some of my friends I respect also share this character. I do want to donate money at that time, but it’s a shame that I was busy working on something and I didn’t donate money. I will say that’s a lesson, I start donating money to charity a lot afterwards (In wholefoods, for children’s cancer, for lots of campaign in restaunrant and super market, and other place where I see someone need help). I feel much better then! Thank you for moved me.
But the next news I heard is absolutely sad!
When is that? I think I was 1 month or 2 months ago. I was super busy at that time. But I accidentally see Badri post something on Facebook, it says “Good bye Luke”. I think that’s not you, because you are health and at prime of your time. I see Badri’s word, it’s beautiful, I feel he is very sad. A friend of him passed away. I’m afraid, but I firmly believe that’s not you. But I leave a message said “Hope it’s not the Luke I know!”. And then I send some messages to other friend in TW circle to make sure it’s not you.
But next day, when I woke up. I sit on tolilet, I checked message. I saw Jiajun left a message, “No that’s the Luke we know, I’m afraid”, then she share a link from ThoughtWorks UK. I felt that my head is exploding. That’s super sad! I was under pressure on that days, but that message just make more even more sad. I know if TW post something that’s true.
I contacted Badri, I want to learn why you passed away, and what I can do for your family. I should say thank you to Badri, he said “Hugs!”, he said “We don’t know what we can do now. But please don’t write message on Luke’s facebook page. But you can let his family know that you feel sad about his passing away. And please don’t do anything before his family say they need help.” OK, I’m sadden in that mood for a while. I just feel it’s not fair.
And then 2 weeks later. I google your nane, I found that I even can’t type your name without google. I feel really sorry. I think no one should forget his/her friends’s name. That’s a shame. A man live in the world, and friends will always remember him/her. But I remember it now: Luke Berrett.
I didn’t leave any message on facebook which mentions you, or event not on twitter. I want to set a timeout for my memories, so that means it’s deepen in my mind. That someone cares about you even after you passed away. I know you family will miss you most, but we as normal friends in you life we also miss you.
When I google your news I learn that you was killed in traffic accident. But even more sad is that the accident is not very clear. They wanted witeness and the news. But you passed away, as a adult I know find the killer is not the most important thing. We should let you rest in peace. I feel shame that the god (sorry, but acctually I don’t have religion) chose a wrong one. But I know the human world is not fair, everyone has equal chance to be in heaven. The people who have beloved family should not have that earlier, because more living things suffer from that. But, but that’s the inifite possibility. I don’t trust logic, I just appreciate. I appreciate for friendship, for love, for every goodwill. I don’t want to say too much, becaus that’s out of my control.
I just keep living my life. But I occationally thing about you, especially I feel sad or under heavy pressure. I hope there’s karma, good people live good life. It’s just a silly hope. I know it’s not fair to you. I’m really sorry. But I do miss you as a normal friend. I have so many normal friends in my life, and I have close friends, I miss all of you. I’m just a simple emotional animal as most of human.
I was sick for a month. I have some illution that I’m dying. But I’m not, I have family, I need to live forever. Then I was very busy trasfer knownledge to my previous colleagues, since I’m moving to a new job. And then I joined a team, exciting, also was super busy. Then my wife sick, I was under pressure. I need to take care of my daughter, I worried about my wife, I won’t want to let my new teammates down. That’s not easy. But it gave me months of time to do reflection. It’s fortunate that I sill have a strong feeling that I should write those words down for you, for your family, for myself. I don’t want to express my sadness. That’s not how human live. We look up, we remember, we try hard to change the world!
So, luke, my friend, hope you have good day in heaven. Hope you family see you in their sweet dreams! Hope you blessed us, home you lessed eveyone live on the planet. But, Good bye luke! See you in heaven.
Your normal friend, Tin
Here is a picture of you, that’s the only 1 I can find (maybe more, but I’m poor on managing picture files).