What Matters

Recently a friend of mine that I grew up with passed away. We had lost touch over the years, and I was surprised how the loss affected me. I have gone through a few stages the past week. Currently, I am focusing on what is important in my life today. As a person who loves goal setting, it made me turn to my goals. I looked at my goals through a clear lens. Before I get to the goals, I want to share my process over the past week.

The first stage was shock. I could not believe that he was gone. I still see myself as very young at 40. How could one of my childhood friends be gone? We are too young to die. Once the shock wore off, I started to feel the pain. So many memories of Steve came flooding back. Memories that I had not thought about for decades. With each memory, laughter, joy, then hurt and grief. I then became angry. I actually felt anger towards my friend. Why didn’t he tell me he was in bad shape. How could he not let me know how sick he was? Then the guilt. I should have reached out to him more. I should have visited him. I should have told him that I loved him like a brother. I should have been there for him! I had waves of depression come and go as I thought about him. I would laugh and then have to fight back the tears that he was gone forever.

I felt ill at times and then started to reflect on my mortality. How could I live a better life? How can I take better care of myself? What about Teagan, my daughter? What about Kelly, my fiancee? What about Lisa, Teagan’s mother? What if something happens to me? Do I have my things in order? As I wondered about what I needed to do, I again felt guilty for using Steve’s passing as an outlet for more worrying and fear.

I have learned over the years that sitting in fear is my self will. I turned to God. I asked for clarity on my next steps. It was clear. Return to what I know my best. I turned back to my goals for an outlet. As I finish up this cycle, I will be setting new goals this week. I am pretty confident that money, work, and things will be far down the list. In this cycle, I will focus on family, friends, loved ones, and people I have lost touch with over the years. I love you, Steve. I am sorry that I was not there for you. Your passing has opened my eyes to what is essential. I will forever be grateful for our friendship.

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One thought on “What Matters

  1. I love this Jeff! I’m not sure why or how I came upon this article of yours in particular today…but I apparently needed this and didn’t know it. Steve was a wonderful human being and many of those things you felt/feel I was feeling them too when I heard. I need to also turn back to God for clarity instead of living in my anxiety/worry/fear and start setting some realistic goals for myself. I’m proud of you friend! ❤ Alli

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