It was today a year ago that I sat with tears streaming down my face because a dear friend of mine and a fellow coach has passed away. I was devastated. His passing was a reflection of how he’s lived his life. He stopped on the side of the road to help a total stranger who’s car had stalled when a hit and run killed him.
I met him in Fiji, early in 2013. I was tired one day, so I went to the back of the room where the course was held, to lie down on one of the rebounders. He rolls up his jacket into a pillow shape and gives it to me! That was our first encounter. A total stranger at the time just reaching out, that was Jose. A man who always had a smile on his face, even when he frowned! I quite easily connected with his heart as I listened to him tell me about the work he’s devoted his life for…serving others. He worked at a youth camp in California (volunteered for the most part). We had many little conversations over lunches and dinners across the span of the 2 weeks in Fiji that showed the kind of person he was. And in that short a time, he’s still managed to have an impact on many of the people in the group, whom we fondly call our ‘Fiji Family’. That doesn’t come easy. You need to be made of the real deal to merit that.
His Facebook wall said it all. It was flooded with messages from people he’s touched with kindness and with love. The messages kept pouring for days! It was heart breaking and heart warming at the same time. It showed how he’s spent his life helping people, especially youth … who’s lives were stalled! It was obvious that his passing was painful to so many people, family and way beyond. This is not your average kind of guy. He was a real human being…one who did not have a single cell in his body that was not for serving others.
As I sat and cried then, and as I sit and cry now, I only hope by the time my time is up, that I’d have had as big an impact on the people in my life and anybody who’s interacted with me in any capacity. Because the fact of the matter is that one’s life is but in vain, if not spent in service of others. I was a teenager still at university when a friend asked me ‘who would remember you when you die?’. Shocked at that kind of question, I had no answer. I was 17 and was so self absorbed and life for me was one big party that was all about me. Now, I get it. Now I want to live my life in such a way that I leave a legacy of so much love and compassion behind, so that even when I’m gone, my work continues through the Love Generation I am passionately creating. I want to live a life in service of the greater good through empowering myself and others.
Just like Jose has done. Rest in peace my friend. You live on in our memories and through the good work you keep inspiring us to do.