Memories That No One Can Steal

As mentioned in my last post, we all have different experiences of each other.  And as much as I know this, it became ever so real to me recently when a friend, mentor and business colleague of my husband passed away suddenly.

My husband had worked very closely with him for a number of years and had nothing but love and admiration for him. He was very principled about the way he did business and well respected in the real estate community on the island. A trailblazer in hotel development and several areas of business.

He was also an amazing person. I worked in the same office with him for almost two years and I was in awe of his work ethic. He was so intelligent, it was intimidating. I was constantly amazed at the speed at which he processed ideas and how he stayed on top of every-single-thing. I used to joke that he needed a personal assistant just to keep up with his life. He’d hit the ground running every morning and would not stop working till the wee hours of the morning. Always working, but always playing too. He somehow found the time to enjoy it all, work, travelling, sport and family. As his brother said at his memorial, ‘He was amazing at everything’.

Because he passed under unusual and suspicious circumstances, in the days following his passing, it was hard to escape the sensationalism surrounding his heath. Countless rumors, speculation, theories, and accusations surfaced. While I knew him, while he was alive, I had never heard anyone speak a negative word about him. Suddenly, it seemed like anyone who ever met him had an opinion. It was almost unbearable to listen to other people’s experiences of him.  But while for some, the character judgments were baseless and untrue, in some cases I could understand why he was disliked. Most of those who spoke unkindly of him were of questionable character themselves. In one instance a man whom, to me, is pompous and arrogant accused him of being an asshole and difficult to work with. I am almost certain that my friend thought the same of him.  Their personalities did not gel. The man I knew was down to earth and pleasant. He’d eat the veggies of my plate and laugh at my jokes. These, are the memories I chose to remember.

So my husband and I laid in silence one evening, and breathed in his spirit. We soaked it all up. OUR experiences of him, OUR appreciation of his life and achievements, OUR respect for him and all that we learned from him. There was no need to ‘defend’ him anymore because we realized that other people’s experiences of him did not make our experience any less meaningful. It did not and could not diminish the value that he brought to our lives and would never tarnish our own opinion. We loved him and to us, he was a gem!

Gone but not forgotten. I believe that every experience is sacred. And your experience with another is completely necessary for your spiritual growth. If you had a pleasant experience with someone while someone else had a not so pleasant one, cherish your experience, for you received what you needed to learn from them. And while it can be true that some people can have spilt personalities, it is not your place to internalize this.  Focus on your personal experience with them and how it has shaped your life.

Life is short… Extract value from every human encounter.

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