Small Talk 004: Forever with us

It's been a little while since I've felt a real loss, and the feeling is such a blend of unwelcomed nostalgia + a reality check + reflective moments of one's self and one's surroundings.

This morning, my team and I were told that one of our photographers had passed away last night.


As my former manager put on a brave face and choked back a few tears to comfort us with as much information as she had, it was difficult for me to comprehend what was happening. Although I've dealt with death over the years, especially in ways that vary from my own father passing to a friend taking his own life only hours after I had chat with him, it is still never a feeling that I can ever understand or process entirely.

unwelcomed nostalgia,
a reality check,
reflective moments of one's self and one's surroundings.

While trying to process the situation and think of his family and his life as we know it, it was clear that this news was affecting more people than one would truly imagine. He wasn't just an employee or a coworker; he had been with the company for over a decade, bringing a fun and positive energy to any and everyone he interacted with, and acting as a mentor to those who seeked guidance from him professionally and personally. Although he probably hated to love it, he was a Work Dad – our Work Dad.

unwelcomed nostalgia,
a reality check,
reflective moments of one's self and one's surroundings.

On my first day at my new job, a coworker walked me around and gave me a light introduction to a few people we would run into while walking down the hall. We ran into him, and he asked if I'd like a tour of all the photo studios, and he gave me the most extensive walk through of each studio, where the photographers/stylists/models worked, and the lay of the land. I remembered thinking to myself,

"Wow, he really didn't have to go out of his way to show me anything. I'm not working in the studio, and I won't really need to be on this side of the building, but that was really awesome of him."

As I think back on that moment and every other since then, I can only be reminded at how full and pure his heart was. His intentions were always so genuine, and he truly put a smile on my face everytime we chat. It made me realize that those types of interactions are so rare these days, and I am so grateful to have experienced it.

unwelcomed nostalgia,
a reality check,
reflective moments of one's self and one's surroundings.

Most of us mere mortals don't fall under the category of being incredibly rich or smart; we aren't known for inventing anything cool and we're most likely not billionaires.

The marks that we leave in the world won't be immortalized in accolades or accomplishments.
It is how we treat people and how we affect their lives that'll leave us to be unforgotten.

Feeling helpless as I saw coworkers who were under him look absolutely destroyed, there is no doubt that his presence will be Forever with us. Matt, I really hope you're eating a box of Twinkies up there and snapping as many pics as possible so that one day, we can all join you and take a look at how far we've come.


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