My phone rang yesterday morning, early. It was an unusual time for the caller to be ringing me as he’s not the earliest riser. I had him on speaker and greeted him with our usual bro banter. He said he was in the middle of the desert, somewhere between LA and Phoenix, an impromptu road trip in his new car. Then, strung to the end of a disjointed ramble he told he had just gotten the worst news of his life…after a silence that seemed to come from a mile-long echo tube, he choked out the reason for his call: his Dad had just died. Alone in the desert and not sure what to do next, he hooked hard to the north and steamed home to Seattle.
My dearest of friends, a gentle soul and the hugely talented design director for our company, he had just the day before designed our Father’s Day email blast that was sent to our audience a few hours before his call. In it, he had included a photo of him and his Dad, taken many years ago while on a fishing trip in Thousand Lakes, Canada. In a second photo, he stands proudly beside his Dad while on a goose hunt in the Horicon Marsh, Wisconsin. You don’t have to look too close to see the sparkle beaming from their eyes and feel the depths of this father / son bond. A cruel and unimaginable irony that is now part of the tapestry that marks this sad and heart piercing section of his life.
There are no words that will comfort him now. Only courage and an unshakable faith in something much bigger than ourselves gets us through the sorrow and disorienting darkness a tragedy like this brings. This is a lonely, personal journey for now…one that all of us will traverse at some point in our lives.