One of the most important mentors in my life passed away yesterday. I should probably mourn his loss. But I can’t. He won’t let me.
I won’t use his name in this article. And I ask you, if you know him, not to use his name in any comments you may feel compelled to add at the bottom of this post. He asked me not to and I will not break that trust.
I can’t help but think about all the things I could have said and all the ways I could have honored him. Not that I didn’t do that while he was alive. I just didn’t do it enough. The man took me from meagre beginnings to an enlightenment of who I was, who I needed to be and how I needed to get there.
There is an old expression, when the student is ready the master appears, and I promise you that’s true. He arrived in my life at a time when I truly needed him. We grew from mentor/student to longtime friends. And he added Ginger and I to his life and his family. His wife of 45 years, his two exceptional children and grandchildren were his greatest joy. They were all with him yesterday in a quiet, loving place. All gave him hugs. All said goodbye. All told him how much he was loved. Then he asked everyone else politely to leave and spent the last few moments of his wonderful life holding hands with the remarkable woman that was by his side for almost five decades.
His passing wasn’t a surprise. He’d been ailing for several years and always the realist, he knew his time was limited. He confided in those closest to him exactly what he wanted done when he passed. Rather, the list should be called the things he didn’t want done. For that reason, we are today honouring his legacy and his wishes by observing the following requests.
As he directed, there will be no public funeral. No announcement of his passing will appear in the local newspaper. And there will be no outpouring of grief. Instead of what is considered the norm in our society, he simply wanted those he mentored to spend a few minutes today in quiet reflection of their own contributions to the world, not his.
So, in his honour, I have spent most of my day counting the blessings that were showered on me simply from knowing him. And tonight, also in tribute, I will sit down and enjoy two fingers of scotch. Neat. No ice. And I will say to no one in particular, “So a duck walks into a pharmacy”.
See you around my friend……
Regular readers know that I always close with something to think about. Today’s is something he would have loved. And he would have laughed.
“I am prepared to meet my Maker. Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.” (William Shakespeare)