It’s been a little over a year since Shashank passed away. Although I have lost friends before, his death shook me up more than I would ever have imagined. Over the years, I’ve lost friends to accidents and illnesses.
The first difference was that I had never lost anyone so close to me. The second difference was that his death is the first of a friend who ‘just died’. Of course losing someone to an accident is similar in that they ‘just died’ as well. But the accident can be pointed to as the cause of death. Fuck You, Cancer.
We used to talk about plans for the future, and how a situation in my life was finally resolving itself. We even talked about possible vacation plans together. We laughed and dreamed like we had our whole lives in front of us. Little did I know that his life path here would be completed, and he would take the next step on his spiritual path?
If you have been reading this site for a while you may have stumbled across his name. I had never met his family, knew his birthday or any of the things close friends know. But the conversations we had and what we shared make me proud to call him a friend. All I can say is he was a hell of a guy.
When he passed, you could feel the sadness move through everyone of us like a tidal wave. We were grieving and we were going to handle it the only way we knew how. He was just a really nice guy who would do anything for his friends. My thoughts turned to my own impact in this world. How many people would show up if I died tomorrow? Would anybody say these amazing things about me?
His presence in my life will not be easily replaced. He had an infectious laugh and an almost child-like naivete about the future. His optimism was not unfounded either. Things just seem to work out for him in far more many instances than not.
When life threw a monkey wrench, he used it to assemble his new life never looking back with regrets or sorrow. His ease and grace could be maddening at times particularly to people like me who spend too much time in their heads. I don’t want to portray him as perfect, he wasn’t and he knew that.
This moment was a tipping point in my life. That evening, as I sat on a rock overlooking the city, everything changed. It may sound oversimplified and cliche, but that day I vowed two things. To live my dreams every day and to just be a nice person.
Our friend was only around for a short while but his impact will be felt for a lifetime. Make time today to go ride, to think about your friends, and to appreciate life. So let me thank Kinshuk, Kausy, and Rahul for everything 🙂 I love you guys!
I write this not as a goodbye to Shashank, but as a grateful acknowledgment to his presence and influence in my life.
Thanks for the life lessons, Shanky. See you at the end of my ride.
For those of who have loved and lost someone to Cancer.
Also read this: My Heart Still Aches