It was an awkward moment. A glass of wonderful Cabernet in one hand and shaking the hands of other execs joining an evening dinner party with the other. Suits and greetings and small talk. Wine and appetizers and debate and long-overdue reunions for some of us who work only floors away in some cases; states away in others.

“The funeral was beautiful,” my friend said. A couple of other pals went on to describe the scene at yesterday’s funeral. I looked to my left and one of my colleagues had the same questioning look. He said, “Whose funeral are we talking about?”

A colleague, dare I say, a friend had passed away after a long battle with cancer. Beloved by so many. We had had a number of delightful encounters over the years. She made a point of commenting on my columns and my work on healthcare strategy. She was always so appreciative. We exchanged cards of thanks and congratulations for things here and there.

She died. I missed it. The message was probably buried in an email that I skipped in “preview” mode, or in a voice mail I didn’t recognize. Who knows?!

The bottom line is that someone I care for…care about…her life ended and I missed her passing and the celebration of her life. Things “got in the way.” BULLSHIT.

I woke up this morning and I was 5/8 through my life expectancy. She made it to half way. It could end tomorrow. It does for so many. Trying to change the world is a burdensome and beautiful privilege. Being PRESENT in it is required and so often dismissed.

To my friend, if there is an afterlife blog RSS or facebook for the next phase (Zuckerberg is probably working on it), then keep me posted. I’ll miss you.


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