Today was one of those days we never want to experience. One of our team members received a call early this morning that informed them a close family member had passed away. Though they had lived a long and adventurous life the news of their passing still came as a shock coupled with great sadness. All of us felt it, and it seems safe to imagine a few of you will feel it as well. Death is never easy.
We spend a lot of time discussing about the need to stop talking about the things we want and instead learning to chase after them. We do this because we have seen the wonderful things that can happen when you take a chance in life. We’ve admittedly had things go the other way when taking a risk as well, but those moments have ultimately helped us grow as people and therefore – in our minds – aren’t really that bad after all.
There is another reason we do this, and it’s one we tend to not discuss as often. Not long ago one of our team members lost a close friend to a horrible disease. That friend was only twenty-five at the time, and most of our team had known them for years. Their passing was the first time many of us had lost someone who was essentially our age, and in the weeks that passed we grew to have a new appreciation for the frailty of existence. We knew the goals left unachieved and understood the dreams that were never going to be realized. We felt a sense of loss as we never had before, and it lingers with many of us to this day.
Before they passed, that same close friends asked us to continue on in their honor. This probably happens all the time in similar situations, but for us this was a first. We were no longer a group of individuals who enjoyed one another’s company in between solo adventures through life, we were something more. Every success was a success for the team, including those no longer with us, and every decision to ignore something was immediately met with a reminder of just how quickly our time together can pass.
This morning when the news of another passing in our extended Haulix family came I was reminded of those we lost before and how their legacy is now ours to carry. Somedays it feels like we lost those people years ago, which we did, but all too often it still feels like they were with us just yesterday. Time is a funny thing like that.
When terrible things happen, the first thing you should do is be with those you love and check on those too far away to hug. Take time to mourn and remember those who have passed. Celebrate their lives and find a way to begin accepting what has happened. This is the most important thing you can do for yourself and those around you because those feelings are not going to go away. You have to deal with these big changes. There is no other option.
When you get through that, which could take anywhere from days to months or even years (everyone is different), you must find a way to carry on. Not just for yourself, but for those who can no longer do so. You cannot afford to wait for the perfect opportunity to come your way because there is no guarantee you have that kind of time to spare. If you know what you want or what needs to be done in order for life to be how you want it then you need to act. Not the next day, not in a few weeks, but as soon as the feeling hits you. Do whatever you feel driven to do and do it to the best of your ability so that you can honor those you have lost through your actions. If not for yourself then for them because they believed in you, they loved you, and they wanted the world to see you for the great person they knew you to be.
James Shotwell is the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. He is also the host of the Haulix podcast, Inside Music, which features insight into the experiences of entertainment professionals from all walks of life. You should probably follow him on Twitter or at the very least visit his official website.