Dave Grega, one of the hosts of the Pagan Centered Podcast, died Monday night. It’s come as a big shock to the people who knew him. He was only 27, and had a mischievous sense of humor, so I wasn’t the only person who wondered at first if it was a prank. Dave was a person who was very much alive, and it’s difficult to think of him as dead.
Dave had many admirable qualities and a fantastic ability to make things happen. His humor often took him to weird places and he loved debate for the sake of discussion. I worked with him as media at Pagan Spirit Gathering for two years straight, and I can still see him in his straw hat battling the heat of Camp Zoe. There is a reason I’m not in healthcare, and I missed the signs of heat exhaustion back at that first PSG, so there was an ongoing joke about how I almost let Dave die. Thankfully Nora Cedarwind Young was far more diligent in those matters, and Dave was amused at her close watch over him, which included asking him regularly when he last urinated.
Back in February of 2011 I got to visit him in Houston. He seemed to be lonely and I thought the trip would cheer him up. We hobnobbed around Houston together and watched the Super Bowl simply because it was on and it seemed like the thing to do since the Cowboys were playing. He introduced me to the amazing beverage known as Mexi-Coke, for which I am very grateful. I wish we’d gotten a pic of us while I was there, but neither of us thought of it. After all, you always expect to see people at the next festival or conference.
My roommates were surprised at how upset I was at news of Dave’s passing. I hadn’t spoken to him in over a year. The best way I could describe it was that Dave was a close “frenemy.” We were good friends, until we weren’t. Besides, Dave is the first Pagan I have known personally who has passed on, and he was way too young to die.
What little I know of Dave’s last few months of his life, it sounds like he was happy. He was in a relationship, and his girlfriend had just had a baby. Life seemed to be good. He was leading the Texas bureau of the Pagan Newswire Collective, and his podcast had a loyal and devoted following. He had many friends who loved him and colleagues who respected him. I was happy for him, even though we weren’t speaking.
Dave had his faults, and those who knew him, know them. He was a colorful character, lending his exuberance and unique energy to anything he was involved in. Dave was not a boring person. You couldn’t meet him and forget him.
He was too young to die. My heart goes out to his family, his girlfriend and all of the friends he leaves behind.
Farewell Dave. May you find rest, reunion and return!