The Last Road

Living every day like it's the last… because one day, it will be.

Update on Rystefn

Posted by sabrinaremains on September 29, 2008

Um, hi. I’m the one who typed in the last post for Rystefn. I posted this already over at the skepchick site, but it was suggested that I put it here as well. I just copied and pasted it, so it might not fit here so well…

I looked around and didn’t see a good place to put this. I’m sorry if its not right. Rystefn talked about you guys a lot and I think he would want you to know what’s going on. So I’m going to just say it here, and if its wrong you can move it or whatever.

Last night, he took a turn for the worse. The pain was so bad, he finally let me take him to the hospital. If you know him well, you know how bad that is. He did make me type in something for him before we left. He was always so stubborn…

Late this morning, he woke up and asked for water. He seemed very normal at first, thanking me for being kind to him and generally being very sweet. After a few minutes, though, I realized he wasn’t talking to me… He spent most of this morning talking to the memory of his high-school sweetheart… I think that’s when it finally sunk in that I might actually be losing him. He was always so full of life, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that he would beat this. I guess wishing doesn’t make it so. Not even if you want it to really bad.

They won’t let me stay with him overnight because I’m not family. Not in the way they demand, anyway. I wish I could. He doesn’t sleep well alone, and he should be with someone he cares about right now… Anyway, I’m going back tomorrow morning, and if want me to pass along any messages, I will.

Feel free to reply here, or if its more private you can email me at sabrina.remainsATgmailDOTcom

I know this isn’t the place to ask you to pray for him, and he wouldn’t want you to even if it was… but I don’t really know what atheists do in situations like this. Whatever it is, please do it… and do it for me, too.


19 Responses to “Update on Rystefn”

  1. jadedwon said

    A non-atheist will be praying.

  2. podblack said

    If possible, let him know that there’s people hoping the best for him. I doubt I’m one he’d remember or know, but certainly hoping and that he’s doing the best for himself by getting help – which is most important. 😦

  3. Elyse said

    If he’s awake and alert, please print this photo for me and give it to him.

  4. sabrinaremains said

    Oh, thank you so much for that, Elyse. I really needed a smile today. That picture captures him so well, the way he wants to be remembered. I’m not sure if bringing him copy is the best plan, though. Today he asked me to smuggle him tacos for lunch tomorrow. I’m not sure if I can smuggle in liquor and breasts for him the day after.

  5. Elyse said

    Poor guy can’t have tacos and boobs on back to back days? No wonder he’s in so much pain!

    Well, if you can’t send him my boobs, at least send him my love. And tell him about the comment you left on today’s Afternoon Inquisition. That was a GREAT comment.

  6. sabrinaremains said

    I’ll bring him the picture. If he can’t get his fix between Kate and me, then he’ll just have to seduce his doctor. I’ll send the love, too, though. I think he needs that more than anything else.

  7. I don’t really know Rystefn…I mean, I never went to any of the skeptical meetings and met him or anything. But I’ve been a reader of the Skepchick site for a while now and it’s an odd feeling that someone who has shared so many of his thoughts and feelings with the rest of us may soon no longer be able to do so. We aren’t there in person to say: I hope you’re comfortable, I hope you have everything you need, and I’m here for you. But we can say remotely: Thank you for what you’ve added to our lives. Especially when we didn’t agree.

  8. SteveT said

    I am immensely sorry that Rystefn is doing so poorly. I just came here from the Skepchick site. I have disagreed with much of what he has said there, but I have an enormous amount of respect for him. He is a truly unique individual, in every sense of the word. I have been enriched by his “presence” and I will continue to hope (and yes, even pray) that he recovers so that I can go on disagreeing with him. Skepchick, and the world, will be a smaller place if he does not return.

    I plan to read every post he has on this site now. To get to know him a little bit better.

    Godspeed and good luck, Rystefn!

  9. sabrinaremains said

    That is very kind of you both, Kimbo and Steve. If you only knew how much happiness I got from seeing how happy he was to have people he could argue and debate with. I’m even happier to see that the people on the other end were also enjoying it. I think he would be happy to know that as well.

    And Steve, I pray for him, too. He would probably want me to tell you that he would rather you kiss a pretty girl for him instead. I’ve heard him say that before. I’m not he wants you to kiss a pretty girl for the same reasons he wants me to, but I promise you it would put a smile on his face to know you did it.

  10. killyosaur said

    I’m kind of in a similar boat as Kimbo in relation to knowledge of Rystefn, in that I’ve never met him, I only know him through his comments, and such. Haven’t been posting on the Skepchick site long enough to get the opportunity to disagree with him though, seems that I may never get that opportunity unless something really positive and unexpected happens (I’m gonna avoid the word “miraculous” both for his sake, as well as my own as I don’t accept such explanations as properly valid, or something). It kinda sucks to learn that he’s basically at the end of his life, if his Yahoo profile is accurate, he’s really rather young, and then there is me at the beginning of mine and I apparently have 3 years on him (again, if his Yahoo profile is accurate). Makes me feel as though I am letting down someone I have never met, I might have enjoyed meeting, and now will more than likely never meet. I really hope he does pull through, and starts getting better despite what he’s been told.

  11. SteveT said


    I’ve just come back after reading all of the previous postings. I doubt that Ryst and I could ever have been friends, but I’m going to really miss him when he’s gone. I am moved to tears as I write this as I think about him being gone. I mourn for your loss. If, as expected, I travel to Asia next month, I promise I’ll visit a Japanese garden and bow my head in respect for him. I’m not a drinker, but I’ll try to drink some sake on his behalf, also.

    If you get a chance, tell him I kissed three pretty girls today. I’ll kiss them all again tomorrow, too, and think of him. Since I don’t see kissing pretty girls and praying to be mutually exclusive activities, I’ll do both on his behalf tomorrow. If he has a problem with that, then he can damn well come to Minnesota and tell me himself!

    Be strong (enough), Sabrina.

  12. sabrinaremains said

    Steve, I think your answer says you could have been friends with him. I read it, and I see in you a willingness to travel (going to Asia), to do things out of your ordinary habit (having a drink), appreciation for beauty (visiting a garden), and that you don’t take things to seriously (challenging him to get up and tell you in person).

    And you care. You care even though you don’t agree with him. You care even though he’s probably been less than polite about your disagreements.

    killyosaur, I don’t know what his profile says. It might be outdated or wrong. He just had his 28th birthday a little more than a month ago. Far too young. I don’t care that he’s said he never expected to make 25 for as long as I’ve known him. He’s still too young. And I’m to young to lose him.

    He doesn’t believe it, but at least Jenny will be there waiting for him so he doesn’t have to be alone.

  13. SteveT said

    Sabrina and Bee,

    I pray not to change God’s mind, but to change my own. The God I believe in is a functionally non-intervening one, so intercessory prayer doesn’t make sense to me. I pray for Ryst now to honor him more fully in my mind.

    I haven’t the faintest idea about the existence of an afterlife, but I do know that I don’t want Ryst to find out whether it is real or not at this young stage of his life.

    And who said that kissing your daughters didn’t count? Mine are both immensely cute, so I would argue that they qualify. Add in the lovely wife, and we’re good to go!

    (Deep breath…)
    Pardon me for saying this, but I think Ryst would heartily approve. If I thought my wife would go for polyamory, Bee, you would be right up at the top of my list of people to call. For whatever reason, I find myself incredibly drawn to you. I hope that doesn’t creep you out too much.

    There! Now I’ve gone and done something REALLY new for me. And it’s all because of Rystefn!

    I hope you manage to get some rest tonight, Sabrina. I’m off to bed now, so I’ll say goodnight. You’re in my thoughts.

  14. sabrinaremains said

    That is exactly the sort of comment he would love to hear about. I’m going to call him right now and read it to him.

  15. SteveT said

    Morning, Sabrina.

    I hope you managed to get some sleep last night, and that the nurses were able to make Ryst comfortable enough to sleep, as well.

    I alao hope that my last comment before going to bed last night didn’t send Bee running for the hills!

    PLease let us know how Ryst is faring when you have a spare moment.

  16. killyosaur said

    “killyosaur, I don’t know what his profile says. It might be outdated or wrong. He just had his 28th birthday a little more than a month ago. Far too young. I don’t care that he’s said he never expected to make 25 for as long as I’ve known him. He’s still too young. And I’m to young to lose him.”

    Then that a) makes that profile 4 years out of date, and b) he is only slightly older than I am. And yes, he is waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too young to be dieing and it is horrible to think that some one who, despite the fact that he seems to feel he’s lived long enough, is not going to get the chance to continue on, and it’s due to no fault of his own (that I am aware of, it seems from what he has hinted at, that he kinda got nailed with something that he had no control over, even though he never felt it necessary to tell anyone what that is, though that is his choice, and I totally respect that. It isn’t like he needs to tell everyone in the world what it is that is killing him).

  17. Sabrina

    Thanks for sending us news. Please keep us updated. I had the pleasure of meeting Ryst in NY. He was lovely, friendly, fun, funny, sweet. I don’t always agree with his comments on Skepchick but that was always cool too. I wish I had more than one drunken night to spend with him. And somehow, I suspect, I am not alone in that 🙂


  18. Joy Wang said


    I’d also like to thank you for the news. I regret that I never met him in person–I only (barely) knew him from Teen Skepchick and from reading the postings on this site. Nevertheless, I find myself hoping that he’ll survive, because 28 is too young to die. If you can, please tell Rystefn that I’ll be thinking of him today.


  19. I’ve never personally met Rystefn but I’ve been on Skepchick for a while and read some of his comments. I personally will never forget him debating in limericks with Seth. Had me rolling on the floor laughing. How incredibly nerdy and awesome. 😀 He will be missed.


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