Friends are so precious, and losing one is so painful. An old university friend of mine was killed in a hit and run accident on holiday last week. I wanted to take a moment and use this space to honour his memory. Part of me feels this is too personal to share, part of me thinks it is too important not to. I hope you don't mind.
Matt was one of life's good people. I hate it that I have written that in the past tense. He should have had much much more time.
He was a big strong rugby player with a heart to match. I have been reminiscing about a big adventure we shared several years ago when I joined him and two other guys on a crazy road trip around New Zealand. We were three strapping lads and a wandering girl with a rucksack bigger than herself packed into a tiny car. We got stuck (in a ford), got drunk (on cheap beer), got lost (in the mountains), and I even got a shoulder ride into town. Those boys gave me the courage to do my first terrifying bungee jump, and wisely advised me not to look down as we sped around narrow mountain paths. We traversed a glacier, ate mooncake at a stranger's party and hung out on a kiwi farm. But more than anything, we laughed. A lot.
Along with the gripping shock and hollow sadness of losing a friend to a freak accident comes a deep questioning and reflection on our own lives. Do we tell those we love that we love them enough (and do we love them enough?) Do we really spend our precious moments doing what we love, making ourselves happier and bringing more happiness to others as a result? Do we pick up the phone, write that letter, get on that plane, live that adventure, follow that dream? As Oprah would say, are we living our best lives? I've been here before (in my very first post on this blog), but I am back again.
It shouldn't take a tragedy for us to do just that, but often, sadly, it does. There is nothing anyone can do or say to make loss any easier to handle or understand. There is no fairness, and no reason. Three are many questions, but no answers.
To honour and celebrate the big life of my friend, I want to revisit that question and commit to making a few small changes (and maybe a couple of big ones) that will allow me to completely and absolutely say YES, I am living my best life, every day, every hour, every minute. Won't you join me?
Goodbye MD, you will be missed so very much