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After the Wave

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Thanks to everyone who sent notes or sentiments or just thought about Ken and our family after reading yesterday’s post. I appreciate it all.

I’d also like to encourage you to not borrow trouble. This isn’t your burden, or at least it isn’t for most of you. I wanted to share what had happened for anyone who cared, but you don’t need to feel bad or think that there’s something you need to do.

In the best of cases, a story of loss can inspire you to live more intentionally and to not take your loved ones for granted. I’ve often felt inspired and challenged by stories of loss myself, so if that happens for some of you as a result of hearing about Ken, that’s great.

I’ll still be writing the blog, daily whenever possible, and I don’t want it to be all about sad things. As always, I’ll be writing about entrepreneurship and seeing the world and whatever life lessons I happen to pick up along the way.

Before we move on, I wanted to acknowledge that I heard from a lot of you who’ve been through something tough. In a few cases the stories were similar to what happened with Ken, and in many other cases the stories of loss were different.

My friend Steven lost his dad a few months ago, and he told me something that I immediately understood. He thinks about his dad every day and is often sad, but he’s also able to do other stuff. Once in a while, something happens that makes it especially hard, and he can’t always predict what that thing will be. For example, he recently noticed “Dad” was still listed in the Favorites section of his iPhone. Seeing that made him really sad, and the rest of his day was ruined.

The next day, however, he saw a photo of his dad—and it didn’t make him sad; it made him happy. He remembered many of the good memories he had stored up, and the rest of his day was fine.

The point is that when you go through something especially difficult, you just don’t know what will make you happy and what will make you sad. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts on the road of grief.

So as I move forward, I’ll have to take Ken’s advice and let the wave crash over me. It won’t ever “be okay” and there won’t ever be a silver lining. But I’ll also be able to do other things, too.

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Image: Tom

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