I was at a funeral last year. I didn’t know Grant well but he was a good friend of my boss. So I went to show my support. I felt I needed to go but did so grudgingly. I was even bitter about feeling I had to be there. Don’t get me wrong, I had met Grant a number of times and knew a lot about him and he was an amazing individual. But I don’t do well with funerals. Who does! I know! But I reeeaaalllyyy don’t do well. My anxiety hits an all time high. Especially when I don’t know the person well and really don’t feel I belong there. But I needed to go and I knew that. And I’m glad I went as I could see from my boss that it meant a great deal. I don’t always agree with him but the fact is he has been there for me. And would do anything for me and I know this. So I went.
So I finally get there, late. Swearing because I had to park far away and because, well… I’m an asshole in this moment. I’m standing in place outside the seating area just as the service is about to start and up on the screen I notice the dates of his life lived. 1971 – 2019. 1971. One year after I was born. I felt like I got slapped in the face.
The past few days, weeks, months prior to this I had been struggling with depression. Anger. Bitterness. And depression. And a whole big bash of a pity party on top of it. Here is a guy one year younger than me and he has built a successful business, coached and mentored countless kids in hockey, dedicated spare time to snow mobiles and lake life, and had a wife and child that loved him desperately. He had it all. And then one day he contracted bacterial meningitis and the man everyone knew was gone. It took 4 months for him to pass but he was gone that night. I had to park far away for a reason. This man was revered.
It made me stop and think. Funny but a funeral lifted my mood. Maybe that sounds bad. But it kicked me in the ass. It’ was time to stand the fuck up again. I think I had forgotten that for awhile. Yes, life is hard. Full of challenges but, I am here. I am alive and I am capable of anything. I am here.
I walked away from that day feeling a new determination to succeed. To find my purpose and passion. And with that, my strengths and my weaknesses. I need to be weak so I can be strong. I need to be vulnerable so I can be trusting. I need to ask for help so I can help others. I was waiting for life to get easier. But it doesn’t. It never gets easier. It just gets more rewarding.
So this is for you Grant. I can do this. And I will do this.
“Fall seven times, stand up eight.”Japanese Proverb