Grief Strickened, I Can Only Write About A Life Extraordinaire

I am not here with a long eulogy to extol your virtues, achievements, accomplishments, philanthropy, generosity or document our long friendship for each memory that I carry in my heart.

You have touched countless lives in the short time that you lived and I still marvel at how you do it all – leading a bank, mentoring strangers and friends, building houses and helping orphans halfway across the world, volunteering in social work and public service committees, running all those marathons, and still find time to be there for me when I needed someone to talk to at 3 pm in the morning or sending me off on a midnight flight to collect my mother’s remains from Tibet.

Yet it has always been done on your own infuriating terms and insistence which were always reasoned to perfection that would have made it easy to hate you if I did not know you well.

For you were always given to forthright logic and realism yet suffused with positivity and hope for humanity that it was impossible to find a single crooked bone in your self, being the ultimate role model for Mr Nice Guy. My feelings started with a grudging admiration that ultimately became just plain old endearing love and respect.

It has been an extraordinary life for you, Gary. Each moment lived to the fullest and utmost in purpose, and always with someone else in mind. In recent years, it has all been documented in your daily photo collages that I had loathed but will now treasure. Another example of your foresight.

I am sure there will be long praises written of you by various friends and family, colleagues and ex colleagues. And every single moment you spent with us shall not be lost because you have left an indelible footprint in our lives, our hearts and our minds.

There is so much more to say but I will reserve that for my private soliloquy.

You started the R2D2D movement to be Ready 2 Dare 2 Dream (I am sorry I told you it sounded corny). Your passing has served as a reminder that I should start to live, and live purposefully henceforth.

My heart is heavy with sorrow but I know you would disapprove of us grieving for you. So I dug this verse out from the Bible to commemorate your life extraordinaire.

Good people pass away; the godly ones die before their time.
But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
Isaiah 57:1