I am sad to report that the news that you heard is true. I am the bookkeeper at Lightning Express and was told that Neils C. Miller committed suicide this morning. Details are still unavailable but he was seen this morning at "the wall". He called in sick to work and went home where this took place. I will miss him.
I am sorry for the loss which is felt by all who knew him. Lightning Express closed early today so his coworkers could deal with their grief. There has been way too many deaths that we have had to endure at Lightning Express over the last ten years. Neils is the seventh person who worked at Lightning Express who has died since I started working there in 1989. All of these deaths have been very tragic with each person dying at a very early age. If you know someone who works at Lightning Express, be nice to them today. Neils was only 30 years old.
- Dale Carlson
I met Neils when I was 15 in 1992 in New Orleans. He and I worked at the New Orleans Historic Voodoo Museum making voodoo dolls for the museum gift shop. He was my first friend in the city -- his mother actually hired me for the job. He was hilariously funny in a "Fight Club" sort of way, and was always doing something creative or pulling a prank. Over the years we kept in touch by mail, and he was the best pen pal -- he always made time to write long and funny letters, and would make great punk mix tapes. I saved all his letters and the pictures he sent. He had boundless energy. I was devastated to hear of his passing, and so sad that we had lost touch. I think of him often, and miss him terribly. He was truly one of a kind.
Marilyn "Shru" Bennett
I met Bones a little over a year ago. He came to visit Philly, where I live, and made quite an impression on me and the people he met here. I loved his company from the first time I met him, when he was walking around the bar with "caution" tape on his head! He made me and everyone around him laugh and enjoy themselves to the fullest. Everyone felt comfortable around him. We kept in touch through email at first and then by talking every night for hours on the phone. It is rare that I meet someone that I click with that well, so fast. He even came back to visit shortly after. He was a very close friend to me when I needed it, and I'll never forget that. A few months ago, I lost contact with him and now I hear he is gone. I only wish that we had kept in touch, so that maybe I could be the friend he needed, just as he had been to me. This news has left me and everyone else, I'm sure, heartbroken. We're all gonna miss you, Bones.
To my friends, family, and business colleagues,
I wanted to inform you all of the very sad passing of my friend, Neils "Bones" Miller who took his own life, August 24th, 2001.
Neils was a good pal of mine whom I met several years ago (3 and a half +), right before I started messengering at lickety split all girl courier in 1998. He was a bicycle messenger and a well educated one at that... You could tell by talking to him for just a minute or two. He left a very strong impression on everyone he met.
I think that the first time I met him, I had a crush on him and vice versa... But we never shared more than a good hug and some positive conversation.
Neils was a writer. He wrote for zines and stuff... He was always very supportive of art and skool... Every time I saw him, he asked me how my art was going... We'd bitch about the union together. Talk about bikes. We shared a couple beers. Neils always talked to me about graffiti... He was definitely a true lover of that stuff... He was pretty punk rock.
Everybody he knew, loved him. His funeral was the best punk rock show I have ever been to in my life. I'm sure he thought so too...
Even though he took his life in anguish, I really do think he went out in peace. It was so evident how much everybody loved him. It makes me cry now as I think about it.
I just want to make MY peace now. There are so MANY KIDS dying out here. San Francisco is a war zone. It is so sad. I am right in the middle of it and I just want to scream at the top of my lungs and punch my fists in the air with all of my might.
Neils was born the same year as me. 1971.
I want to scream at the top of my lungs, "NEILS MILLER I LOVE YOU"... But I guess everyone in my hood already thinks I'm nuts, so it's probably better for me to write it at this point. Neils would have wanted it that way. He told me he wanted it that way. Rest in Peace always, Neils "Bones" Miller. I love you so much.
Love your friend forever, Nicole
it's hard to define my friendship with bones- i'd like to say that we were friends- i mean, i liked the guy and found that he had many qualities that i admired and shared with him- he was intelligent, had a great, twisted sense of humor, and was one of the most honest, straightforward, no-bullshit people in the scene. some people were turned off at times by his negativity, but i found the guy to be totally without pretense and that whatever he was dishing out that day was more often than not sincerely how he felt. of course, as with any friendship, his negativity rankled me at times, but at least i knew i was always getting the truth.
i never got to be very intimate with him. so, as a result, i wasn't aware of any of the problems he was having lately- his behavior didn't seem any different from normal, really. i had known him to be unhappy and cynical, but he appeared to have a sense of humor about it. little did i know....
his passing put a lot of things into perspective for me- i don't think that i have hugged that many people since i went to grateful dead shows. i was just happy to see my friends alive and well.
i have been somewhat cynical about the messenger "scene" lately - i've wanted to distance myself from it for lots of reasons, but i think it's time to find a balance within myself between my job, my girlfriend, my friends, home, art, music... i started to feel stifled by my perception of all the politics and drama. well, i realized that all that shit isn't important. i don't plan on doing this job forever- i need to worry less and live more, and take care of business. it's my life, and my responsibility, not the scene's fault.
so, in the midst of this nonsense, i lost a friend who apparently had way more on his plate than i ever could have known or imagined, and suddenly, all my problems - moving stress, and the anxiety of having the longest, most dangerous summer job of my life, well, that got put in perspective real quick.
i've been thinking about what i had- i had a friend, who, like me, did exactly what he wanted and didn't take any shit for it. also, like me, i had a friend who had bottled up so much that it caused him to end his life. i don't want to do that- to myself, or anyone close to me, at all.
bones was cool - he was definitely in his own class. it's sad
to think that i'll never get to see him in his silly dinner tuxedos
at parties. he'll never make
fun of the way i look again. i'll never get to benefit from his ph.d in sarcasm or his minor in stupid jokes. the funny stories, the stupid pranks... all gone. its hard to believe that a steady source of comedy like bones is gone. i just wish his pain could have been lessened somehow.
what i've learned is that if you're feeling that fucked up, or hopeless, or stressed out, talk about it, get help, deal with things before you feel that suicide is the only way out. killing yourself leaves a void in the world and a lot of bewildered people going, "should've, could've, would've..."
my love and prayers go out to the following- the Miller family, and bones' second family, the one post crew- tall can tommy, steve 203, brue, joey, keebler, olivia, fred, ben, richie, christian, nestor and nate, ben and jen, al the scot, monte, mike, mary, frankie, angie, noah, aaron, sean, alex, evan, allie and the rest of godspeed, chalkhead, chai, tim and sarah, kyle sheppard and all the folks from the following companies: lightning (shark, louie, morris, esther, reed, rob, mike, bok choy and wayne) all city, nobs, cupid, espresso, pac coast, speedway, specialized, western, taylor price, first legal, spincycle, jetset, freewheelin', worldwide, flash, king, dms (rip), any companies who employed bones over the years, and anyone else i forgot to mention.... i'd like to personally thank the following people- heather for love and patience (i love you), sarah for always being there, sierra for keepin' it real, and my father dave for understanding and wisdom that always comes true..
i saw a lot of people riding around with long faces on friday- i'd like to see them next week at south park. we lost a rare one, people- one of god's own blueprints, to paraphrase HST.
not to wax philosophical, but it's like two things my dad told
me- "failing to plan is planning to fail," and then
a few years later, "man plans, god laughs." kind of
like a zen koan... and, it's lame to say that
bones is in a better place and sound trite, but i think this is a wake up call that if we really are a community, then we ought to take care of each other. i've made some friends i plan to keep- i don't want to lose anyone else. let's learn from this, please.