Friday, December 16, 2011
Life IS short, but for some, it is far too short.
If you have followed this blog for a year or longer, you will know that I write about this every year.
It wasn’t supposed to be that way.
I never planned on making this post a continuation of thoughts, nor did I ever imagine I would have to write about the loss of my friends every year.
I never thought that life and friendships would feel so fragile, and that one could feel so helpless.
I certainly never felt this strongly about the same message as I do right now.
Life IS short, make your time count.
On December 7th, I received the kind of phone call that brings you to the most shattered version of yourself. It was a call informing me that a good friend and someone whom I truly looked up to had unexpectedly passed away. And it never hit me as hard as when the soft, sad voice on the other end of the line said, “He’s gone, Trevor.”
The words echoed in my mind. How could he be gone? That’s not fair, I never had the chance to catch up with him like I had promised. And forget about me, what about his amazing wife? What about all of the people who love him? What about all of the things he wanted to do? What about all of the good times we were going to have this winter? What about… and the list of rushing, out of sequence and out of control thoughts went on.
And that is how we tend to feel about loss, we tend to look at what we wish we would have done, could have done or should have done. We do so because we get wrapped up in our own worlds and we put stuff like that aside. We put the important stuff like that aside.
I certainly wish I would have taken more time to catch up with my friend, and I will carry that feeling for the rest of my days.
The only way around that feeling is to live our days in a way that we can appreciate the people around us, and appreciate what really is important. It is a way of living that happens right now, and not sometime in the future on some undetermined date which will most likely never become a reality.
We have to live right now, we have to live like Mike Colpo did.
At 36 years old, he had already shared a few lifetimes worth of adventures and personal connections with others. That is just how he was, always getting after it, always up for an adventure and always making you feel like you were the only thing that mattered at that point in time. I say, “that point in time,” because to Mike there was no other time. He lived in that moment and if you were there with him, you felt a very strong bond that can otherwise not be explained.
“He was engaging.”
I have heard that said a few times now by others who knew Mike as well.
Mike didn’t just connect with people; he moved them. In fact, the first words Mike spoke to me changed me forever, and for the better. That was when I learned you could transmit a true feeling with only a few words and a look, or tone of voice. To read more on that story, please go to, “Hero Status,” on Mike’s Memorial Website. And while you are there, read some of the other stories his friends and family have posted. You will probably be better for it.
Mike was introspective and you could tell that his own character and wisdom had been shaped by a lot of searching within. Through reflection and intense thought, Mike seemed to have found something the rest of us haven’t, and had the undeniable ability to put it on paper.
Mike was a writer, a real writer, one who could put himself out there in a way that could show vulnerability and strength at the same time, one that could bend and knot metaphors like the climbing ropes he used so often. Mike wrote for Patagonia’s Cleanest Line Blog and quickly became the voice of the company as a whole, but I have most enjoyed hearing the notes, poems and journal entries that others have shared over the last few days.
He was a lover of all things, especially cooking and food, and I know that if he saw the stack of frozen pizzas in my freezer he would probably sit me down and give me a good long talk. Actually, he would probably just start making me pizzas from scratch.
Most importantly, Mike loved his wife Liz. In his closing thoughts on a podcast called, “The Dirtbag Diaries,” Mike made that very clear.
It gives me comfort to know that I can always go back to that podcast and listen to the voice and the earned wisdom of my friend, of someone whom I looked up to so much.
Mike, I always thought we had more turns to make together, more tartiflette on the menu and more conversations about the important stuff. I had so much left to learn from you.
In your memory, I will do my best to make my time count like you did. I will appreciate the time I have and the people I have it with. I will reflect on myself as often as possible in efforts to be the best version of myself that I can be. I will live right now, engage in right now, and my hope is that everyone reading this will do the same.
We love and miss ya buddy.
(Mike serving up his famous Tartiflette and making everyone laugh at the same time.)
(Mike always teaching us something.)
(Mike getting after it.)
- Posted by Trevor Clark
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