Today marks the first anniversary of my brother's death. Dave died on June 17th, 2021 – the day before his 46th birthday. He lived with his family in San Ramon and in the 5 years before his death culminating with the pandemic lock-downs, my "inner circle" had largely collapsed to him and one other guy. During the pandemic, he was the only person I saw in-person besides Kate and my kids.
We had so many plans and his death has forever changed the course of my life. I look forward to sharing more of our relationship and conversations in the coming year as I re-develop the Mindful Money financial education work that we were going to be doing together. He was an incredible man. He was a fantastic husband and an amazing father. He was my best friend and only sibling. If you never met him, you can get to know him a bit through the obituary I published in our hometown paper.
One of the good things about terrible loss is that it opens the heart in ways you cannot predict. No one can handle this alone. We can only handle this sort of loss in community.
Human connection is the thing that makes our lives meaningful. Human connection with a shared purpose can make them amazing.
About 2 weeks ago a client made an introduction to a woman whose husband had recently died in a plane crash. There were so many similarities. He was also 45. His birthday was also in June.
A couple days after he made the introduction my client called to apologize for not being more sensitive about how the story of another 45-year-old recently deceased father might affect me. I appreciate his concern very much. It did trigger some hard memories.
And, there is nothing in the world I want to do more than remember Dave. Yes, it hurts. AND, it hurts regardless. The introduction created an opportunity for me to tell Dave's story. It gave me an opportunity to hear her story. He created the opportunity for two suffering individuals to find a connection and work together to make things a little better for each of them.
If my loss enables me to be more present to others' suffering and I somehow get to connect with more people experiencing this raw and difficult circumstance, and that somehow lessens their suffering, then I am IN! And, I am so grateful.
Bearing the unbearable loss makes us more human. Bearing it together, openly and honestly, brings out the best in all of us.
If I can help, please let me help.