Have you ever known someone for a short time that had a profound effect on you? Someone who radiated warmth, care, and a comforting smile? I was fortunate enough to know someone like that, he was a kind soul who looked out for others before himself.
I first met him at a new job, he came over to introduce himself and welcome me to the company. I saw him here and there and met his sons and sister that also worked with us. After some time we worked on a project together and daily jokes and check ins became the norm. And after some time later when I decided the place was just not for me, he was overjoyed for me to find somewhere new that was a better fit for my needs. He was one of the people I would miss, my daily dose of people sunshine.
In my last two weeks before I was leaving that job, I was arriving later to work one day due to a doctors appointment I couldn’t reschedule. I remember exactly where I was when I heard my phone beep. Sitting at a red light in the downtown area of my hometown, a text came through letting me know that my friend had passed on. He was 54 and had suffered a massive heart attack that morning. A deep sadness took over and I screamed out an involuntary NO! How could such a positive light go out too early? What about his kids? Grandkids? His beloved wife?
When I got to work that day shortly thereafter, the mood was dark to say the least. Grief counselors were being brought in, you see he wasn’t just my light… he brightened many people’s worlds. Over the next few days many stories and pictures surfaced. I learned more about my friend and his impact on so many others.
At his viewing, when I gave his son a hug with my apologies, do you know what he said? “My dad told me about your new job, he was so happy for you and so am I.” That moment will always be with me, when I realized his memory would live on through the kindness he had passed to his kids. The ease in which even in a moment of his deepest grief, he could pass on a positive, warm thought to another.
I will always remember my friend C.G., and every time I stop at that same stop light where I first learned he left this world for another, I will feel the sad weight knowing he is gone… and then smile feeling better to have known him.