Hamlet, mi hermano. The place do I start?
There was at all times one thing particular about you. I can see from the outpouring of messages from our community that I’m most actually not the one one who felt this manner.
You radiated kindness, compassion, and positivity always. You couldn’t damage a fly. All you knew was love.
The primary time I noticed you communicate, I keep in mind considering to myself: how it’s doable that there’s an search engine optimisation from the Tri-State space dropping this a lot data, and we aren’t pals but?
Effectively, we shortly mounted that. However what I didn’t know that day is how shut of pals we’d at some point turn into, and the way particular of a bond it might be.
Our nerdy obsession with search engine optimisation was certainly what constructed the muse of our friendship, nevertheless it advanced into a lot greater than that as we obtained to know one another higher.
Your story is simply astounding. We sat on my rooftop on a highly regarded and sticky NYC summer time day, and also you informed me your full historical past of what it was like so that you can convey your loved ones right here from the Dominican Republic.
You had turn into an excellent profitable digital marketer approach again within the very early days of search engine optimisation, and it was a surreal and virtually scary expertise so that you can turn into that profitable whereas residing within the D.R. And all simply from engaged on computer systems. Maybe it was this expertise that began your ongoing (unhealthy) behavior of by no means absolutely believing how sensible and gifted you had been.
You bought your U.S. Genius Visa since you had been labeled an ‘Alien of Extraordinary Capacity,’ and that potential was search engine optimisation. It reads as considerably of a weird title to me, however on the identical time, it’s completely becoming for you. I at all times stated you had been from one other planet, in any case.
So, you introduced your loved ones from the D.R. to New York Metropolis and lived on the West Aspect for some time – it was Hell’s Kitchen, if I keep in mind accurately. I keep in mind you saying you didn’t like residing there. However I don’t blame you. Who likes residing in Hell’s Kitchen as a household of 4?
So the subsequent step was to convey the household out to New Jersey, the place you acquire a house in a beautiful suburban space that you simply known as “the forest” (it was most undoubtedly not a forest).
I loved that you simply had been in a position to give me a short tour of the Batista family final yr. We had simply completed lunch (you let me purchase you a vegan lunch, and also you had been excited and mildly perplexed about consuming so many greens), and had been really alleged to be engaged on a venture. However you insisted 1) that you simply drive my new automotive round and a couple of) that we go drive to your own home “within the forest” for a tour. And you recognize the rule when somebody affords you a tour of their home: you possibly can by no means say no.
I really feel so fortunate that I obtained to see your own home and meet your spouse, your youngsters, and your canine. You had been particularly excited to indicate me your new workstation you had arrange with a hoop lamp, knowledgeable microphone, a pleasant massive leather-based chair, and a superbly positioned piece of artwork hanging within the background. It was simply what you wanted, given that you simply had been so busy doing a superhuman variety of digital talking engagements, webinars, podcasts, keynotes, and extra, all whereas working your individual enterprise, main the Python search engine optimisation neighborhood, and being an incredible father and husband on the identical time.
I nonetheless don’t perceive the way you bodily did all of it without delay. (Once more: I feel you had been from one other planet.)
And I really like the best way we used to textual content on a regular basis about our loopy schedules and at all times not perceive how the opposite individual did it. You’ll ship me gifs of Surprise Lady and name me ‘La Mujer Maravilla!’ And I might reply “effectively, hermano, I wager you’re simply automating your approach out of each process and that’s the way you’re ready to take action many issues on the identical time.”
Hamlet, I’ll always remember what a caring and supportive pal you had been to me. You by no means even thought twice about displaying up for me.
I had the largest DJ gig of my life in November of 2019, and also you drove all the best way from suburban New Jersey to the depths of the darkish and sketchy industrial nook of Bushwick, Brooklyn to return see me play. I didn’t imagine you whenever you stated you had been going to return, however you probably did.
You confirmed as much as a Brooklyn nightclub sporting your signature cardigan sweater and button-up collar mixture, in a room filled with hipsters scantily clad in black leather-based clothes and dancing to darkish, blasting techno music. There have been lasers, there was fog, the dance ground was sticky, and there was a variety of sweat.
I keep in mind the astounded look in your face. We stood on the mezzanine overlooking the dance ground, and also you stored telling me you had by no means seen something like this place in your life. You stated you felt such as you had been in Blade Runner. I’ll always remember it. My pals all beloved you. To at the present time, I can’t let you know how a lot it means to me that you simply got here.
And that wasn’t the one time you got here to see me play both. I might be DJing in a Manhattan bar and could be so pleasantly stunned to see my pal Hamlet seem there, once more sporting his cardigan with the button-up collar. I might attempt to clarify to my bar-hopping nightlife pals who Hamlet was and what a legend he was inside our nerdy tech neighborhood. “You don’t get it, he’s like the man who runs issues in Python search engine optimisation world.” They’d no concept what I used to be speaking about, however they at all times beloved him regardless.
Everybody at all times beloved Hamlet.
You didn’t cease supporting my DJ profession throughout COVID. Nope. You tuned into each single considered one of my DJ livestreams even when simply to ship me screenshots of how many individuals had been streaming on the identical time. Generally, when the numbers had been decrease than normal, you’d even give me shit about it. However when the variety of viewers was excessive, I might really feel your vicarious pleasure that so many individuals had been tuned in unexpectedly. You by no means needed to do any of that for me. However you at all times did.
Even till the day you had been mendacity in mattress on the ICU. You continue to made some extent to tune in and watch my SEJ eSummit keynote and also you caught round for my digital DJ set. You insisted on doing all of that out of your hospital mattress. I’ll by no means, ever neglect that.
I beloved the best way you had been such a strong pal and so persistently caring even once I was having a tough time. I might get wired and generally even lash out at you once I didn’t have time to speak, or I used to be feeling overwhelmed with all of the 2020 ‘doomscrolling’ articles you so beloved to ship me. I might let you know, “hermano, don’t ship me something about politics after 6 p.m. please!” Directions that you simply very obediently adhered to.
However you continue to by no means stopped checking in on me. I didn’t even understand on the time how a lot I wanted a pal such as you, somebody who by no means thought twice about calling me, texting me, and Facetiming me simply to speak and ensure I used to be OK.
Hamlet, we had probably the most particular Facetime change final month in December, only a few nights earlier than you bought sick. We each seemed like crap, mendacity round in our pajamas, however we shared so many issues on that decision. I keep in mind considering, wow – our friendship has advanced a lot that we’re even in a position to discuss to one another this manner.
You had been so enthusiastic about 2021 and so pleased with how effectively RankSense was doing. You had been so enthusiastic about your corporation’ success in 2020, the brand new hires you had made, and all of the unimaginable issues on the horizon for you and the corporate in 2021.
I keep in mind simply telling you so many private issues throughout that decision. I keep in mind telling you a lot, I used to be type of kicking myself, considering “I ought to most likely not be sharing this a lot with him,” however I did as a result of that’s how a lot I trusted you. I’ve no regrets about sharing any of it with you. All you ever did was simply be there, and simply pay attention as a pal.
Hamlet, final yr, you simply stored outdoing your self along with your new Python improvements and new options for RankSense. You had been so extremely enthusiastic about all of it. You used to inform me “you gained’t imagine the subsequent article I’m writing for SEJ, it’s going to blow peoples’ minds.” After which, when it blew peoples’ minds, you couldn’t imagine it was occurring. You’ll ship me screenshots of how many individuals learn it, or the truth that John Mueller shared it. I used to be at all times like, “effectively duh! You might be sensible. What else would you anticipate?”
You had been continuously in disbelief about how extremely gifted and good you had been.
You couldn’t imagine how lucky you had been. You had a gorgeous household, a spouse you liked very a lot for many years, two fantastic sons (I nonetheless love that you’d ship me pics out of your biking journeys with them), a prospering enterprise, and a lot stardom and respect in our neighborhood. I stored reminding you, Hamlet, you may have all these items since you earned them. You earned them along with your compassion, along with your genius, and along with your unrelenting ambition, creativity, and dedication.
You deserved all the things you may have, and extra.
Hamlet, there’s a lot extra I might say, and I gained’t cease writing about you. I gained’t cease telling the world about you. I gained’t cease advocating in your instrument, RankSense.
I really feel so blessed that we had this friendship and I’m so immensely unhappy that it needed to come to a sudden and surprising finish.
And I do know it’s not simply me. There are literally thousands of tales like mine.
You touched the lives of so many individuals for thus a few years. This loss can be immense and your presence won’t ever be forgotten.
Siempre te voy a querer, hermano. Que descanses en paz.
I’ve organized a fundraiser in reminiscence of Hamlet. I’ll guarantee all donations go on to them. Please contemplate donating to assist his household out throughout this troublesome time.