Yesterday I met a man on his death bed.
He was close to the end… unable to speak. He couldn’t tell me about himself. He couldn’t describe for me his life. He couldn’t introduce me to his family. But in a very short while I learned all I needed to know about this incredible man.
On the last day of his life he was surrounded by the family, friends, and co-workers whose lives he had so profoundly affected. Everything I ever needed to know about this man was written all over the faces of those who had committed to be with him as he departed this mortal world.
There was grief, sure. But there was so much more. There was love. There was deep affection. There was profound admiration. There was an overwhelming sense of gratitude for having known this man and been able to be a part of his contribution to the world. The people whose lives he had touched were irrevocably altered as a result of having this man in their experience. It was palpable. I felt that even having been privy to this most sacred of experiences, I was somehow changed in that very sort amount of time.
What an amazing way to die.
What a testament to a life.
What stuck me most was not only the amount of people whose lives were changed because of this man. But the depth with which they were affect.
I wish I had of had the opportunity to know him in life. But I had the incredible privilege of being there with him at the end. I felt blessed to be able to share the grief and offer what little comfort I could. And although our time together was extremely brief…. he will not be soon forgotten.