A classmate that I went through middle and high school with passed away earlier this week at the age of 44 from a long illness. He was on my mind all month as I saw various posts on social media about his situation. We had a lot of classes together from 7th grade through senior year, but we never ran with the same crowds. I haven’t seen him or talked to him since we graduated in 1989.
He didn’t know that I admired his intense love of the ocean and his unique spirit. He was a very avid surfer and skilled skateboarder. It came as no surprise to me that he led a very interesting life, splitting his time between New Jersey and Costa Rica, living on his own terms with a focus on experiences versus material possessions. He followed his passions intently and did his best to bring harmony and love to those around him. He accomplished more in his 44 years on Earth than most who live twice as long do. As many are mourning his loss, I send my condolences to his wife, his mother, his brothers, his family, and his friends and pray for their strength and peace.
Last night, several classmates shared a status that he posted on January 22, 2014, which really struck a cord with me:
“We really take the small things in this life for granted and forget how amazing and fragile our bodies and this planet is! Tomorrow begins the sixth week of my suffering, after 104.7 degree fever, then waking up 3 days later unable to use my legs, I sure have learned to appreciate even the most simplest things that each day presents, the sun, a hummingbird, the feel of grass between my toes, and I could go on… I don’t want people to feel sad, want to help, try and cheer me up, say they are sorry, there is enough sorrow in the world and we all have to play the hand we are dealt. What I Want people to do is not take life for granted!! Go outside, take a deep breath, kiss the ground, touch the snow, ride a bike, have a swim, catch a wave, or many, walk around the block, jump up and down, spin around, just do something, BECAUSE YOU CAN!!! “the man who lives life to the fullest has the least fear of death”.’ – Scott Domanic.
Thank you, Scott, for your wise words. May the light continue to shine on in all of our journeys, illuminated by your example.