I’m not sure I have the words….

Though I am shocked and incredibly saddened, this is not my poignant heartbreak to mourn.

Last night we received news of the entirely unexpected passing of a friend.  I call him friend, though I knew him less than two weeks.  As a childhood friend of the person I consider to be my best friend, he was welcomed to our home.  We shared food, laughter, and stories by the fire during his (albeit brief) visit to our area.  He was a huge personality.  He had heart-felt resonant laugh that could be felt as it boomed from his wide genuine smile.

On first meeting, it was clear that he was a kind soul who had LIVED his brief life.  A passion for experience and knowledge was palpable, as was an underlying sense that his life hadn’t always been easy.   Though I have NO idea what his up-bringing was, there was little doubt that perseverance and positivity had brought him to his successes and relationships and (his words as I recall them) “the family you choose”….and today he is no longer walking among us.  With no why or how, he simply evaporated from our sphere.

As I consider what, when weighed against my 39 years, was such a brief encounter, I’m in awe at the ephemeral strings we attach to each other through our lives.   I can’t begin to count the number of people I’ve shared conversation, education, meals, laughs, or tears with.  How am I to know what weight I’ve left in someone else’s life.  Have I left light or laughter?  Have I left hurt or harsh thoughts?  When my time comes, will someone ponder that time that we shared a fire, good stories, and lots of laughter??  We are all deeply connected in ways we may never anticipate.  Time is fleeting and it is far to easy to forget each other in our busy day to day.  I challenge you…because I am challenging myself…reach out to someone every day.  Remind someone that you are thinking of them.  Remind someone that you appreciate them.  Remind someone that you care and are present in their life TODAY –  because tomorrows are no guarantee.

Though I knew you only a flicker of your life, I wish you peace in your journey Richie.  May your LIFE continue to inspire, that those you left behind may find our own peace in your absence.

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