The toll it takes
And a reminder that there's no perfect time to reconnect.
Over the past week, two former teammates - one from high school and another from college - died unexpectedly. Both were outstanding, gifted athletes, kind, hard-working, and loyal. I assumed that someday we’d meet up and swap memories of high school foolishness or our self-imagined college glory days, brag about our kids, and laugh ourselves sore.
But once again I learned the hard way that there is no reason to wait for a reconnection. That’s because people you love or are waiting to see again can disappear without warning. This happened to me in 2018, when one of my best friends from high school, Kevin Millett, died after a long struggle with alcohol. And in early 1994 it was my actual best friend, Scott Rector, who woke up coatless in a Springfield snowbank and died of hypothermia.
I’m not writing this post to highlight the intense sadness of losing a friend. Or comment on substance use or abuse. Or wax on about the space in your life that might never refill after the passing of a dear friend.
But I am writing this as a reminder to reach out to those you miss, even if that outreach is complicated or beyond your reach on social media. Because even if you can’t feel it, not reaching out takes a metaphysical toll on your overall wellbeing and can, as I feel, leave you with profound, boundless regret for not staying in touch.
You can apply this principle in fundraising, too. Because if you’re waiting for that perfect moment to tell somebody involved with your organization that you truly care about them, you might never do it. That perfect moment, the choreographed interaction, might never materialize.
Then someday, without realizing it, you will have lost them forever.