How do you deal with loss? Isn't that a question without an answer? I think so.
Last weekend we lost a friend.
At work today - and all week - so many people are sad. Some are angry that he's gone.
Some hardly knew him. Some knew him for over a decade. Some were in the inner circle. Some hung about the outer rim.
I posted his obituary to Facebook tonight, wondering as I did if those who were closer to him might get offended. All day we have been preparing for his visitation tonight and sometimes I felt so wrong planning who I was going to carpool with or who was going with whom - it felt like planning a social event. I wanted to make it stop. Make us not have to check in with each other (time? your car or mine? how do you get there?) in the same way we'd plan a party or a night out.
But I realized that everyone has their own way of dealing. Just read his guestbook. Some are private, and close their office doors and honour him the way they know how, by doing their jobs well. Some talk about it, make jokes and remember how much fun he inspired. Some are silent, not revealing their emotion at all.
I'm choosing to talk about him. I'm choosing to tell people who didn't know Jim Haigh that he was important and special. You didn't know him? You missed out, buddy.
You missed his laugh, that I hear so loud in my head that I think I could actually open my mouth and it would come out. You missed a passion for his job that was the fuel for a small, just $100 million, empire. You missed watching him talk about "the business" and get so excited that he'd rock forward on the balls of his feet like he was going to launch himself into the crowd. You missed him pacing at the back of the room during the National Sales meetings, listening intently. You missed the empty coffee pots he'd leave that would make you shake your fist and call down the hall "this is how I know you're in the building, Jim! Empty coffee pots!" You missed dimples. You missed inside jokes and goblets of wine. You missed vision. You missed a mentor. You missed a friend.
You missed Jim.
And so do I.