I find myself in this odd polarity, facing the emotions of grief and excitement all in one, not sure where to put my focus or intention but rather just letting them play out.
I’ll start with the grief…I am grieving many losses all at once. I have a friend who is dying of a disease I have seen take far too many people that I care to experience in a lifetime. Cancer first took my Dad, then my dog, now it’s about to take one of my dearest friends.
It makes me angry and it makes me weep. I hate how something so destructive can take away the light of beings that exude so much joy, far too fast and far too soon.
I am grieving the loss of a great man. I have so many fond memories of him in just the few short years we have become friends. Exploring the beauty that is California. Air shows, movie nights, driving in his Ferrari, dinners of pasta and wine. Endless conversations about things that made us laugh and things that made us real.
I am grieving the lessons. I wish I had more time to learn more from him. He is a man of abundance and inspires me in so many ways that I hope I can convey when I see him for the last time. He has shown me that you can build a life of riches from nothing. You can manifest what you want. You can take any idea and bring it to life. You can change your path, your mission, and your focus simply by changing your choices.
I am grieving his life story. A man from Argentina with Italian parents and humble beginnings, John moved to the States and ultimately found his way in the racing world. He becomes an Indy driver, then owns a race team, a winning one with sponsorships and titles, then becomes an angel investor, then an author, then an aspiring pilot, as well as an amazing father and grandfather along the way.
I am grieving his vulnerability. He showed me that with “having it all” comes another side of being human. With his success came a gentle, fractured soul, marred by mistakes from the past and a heart yearning to mend his wounds. Behind his tenacity and zest was a man who purely wanted to love himself better.
My hope is that that is where I brought him comfort and peace. He and I share the same wounds, the same fragility, the same flaws, the same journey to heal. In my own journey of self love, I hope that my own lessons of forgiveness and grace helped him see his light.
I am grieving the loss of a home. My friend opened his home, a beautiful villa with ocean views, to me and my partner. What was originally a brief stay became a place that stole part of my heart, which now aches thinking about how empty it will be.
I am grieving his smile. I can picture him leaving the door of his home open to the courtyard. I can picture working in that beautiful courtyard, with its Italian inspired terracotta, roses, and wrought iron fixtures. I can picture him stopping to converse with me, which always came as a welcome joy to break me away from the screen and help me connect with what really matters…love and friendship.
I am grieving time, and the lack of it. There is not enough time. There will never be enough time to savor the people we love and the things we love. The only thing we can do is embrace the time we have in front of us.
I am grieving all of it. An enduring friendship that could have been. Memories that will never be made. Travels we will never experience. Ideas that will never come to life. A scar that will never fully heal.
I am in denial. I am angry. I am all of the phases of grief in one as time is now compressed down to days of getting to see my friend for the last time.
Hope that I can take his lessons and make them a part of my own journey. Hope that his memory will prevail. Hope that the memories of him will give me joy. Hope that when I think of him, I will smile knowing he is at peace.
The irony of this window of time is that I am about to embark on an exciting chapter in my life, something that has been 13 years in the making. A one-way ticket to travel the world and explore as many countries, and as much of myself, as possible.
The best way I can pay tribute my friend, John, is to live into this chapter as he would. To pursue the journey. To live into my bucketlist. To inspire others. To never question or doubt, but to defiantly create a life that brings me joy.
Life is a constant juxtaposition. We will always be in a pull between the ups and downs. We will always face the balance of dreaming and doubting, waiting and doing.
The choice we have, in every moment, is to choose what we feel, who we are, and how we live.
Never take time for granted.
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