Ode to a friend

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

19 thoughts on “Ode to a friend

  1. We miss people who had an impact on our lives and relive those memories in small instances. Their impact is reinforced when small daily things remind us of those departed. What we can do is keep them in our hearts and work towards making our lives fruitful like them.


    1. she will comment tomorrow. I think the idea for a guiding word is a good one. A word my suinucscboos mind can use as a part of the solution in each problem I give it to work on for the year. Not a rule or resolution just a wishful dream to lead me to improve. You are welcome to share the idea with your friends. Alice gave me the idea last year after hearing it on the radio.

  2. What a lively personality he was…Wish good people live more and could be replaced by bad ones, when its a call from God.

  3. Its really hard what you went through and what your friend’s parents will always feel. I just don’t know what to say except that God is there for all of us. May his soul rest in peace.

    Thanks for sharing. We need to be kind to one another. Life is too short for unkindness.

    Oooops! I read it again! — Re-visiting books that we love.

    Readers of the Night

    1. Oh dear God, I haven’t met his parents after this even though we have had conversation over the phone. I just do not have that much strength and courage to face them 🙁

      1. I cant even imagine.. but I think you should. They must need all you kids’ support and love. Sometimes its sorrow that brings people together.

  4. This is so emotional I really love all the people who have helped us through this difficult time as a younger brother I really feel how close was he to you guys I remember all those happy moments of him with you i just remember those moments and smile even though he is gone his memories will remain with us forever thanks for all the love
    Shreyank karjigi

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