So, I wanted to tell you a bit about Nick. He was 44 years old when he died. I was his assistant for over two years, and in that time, he taught me a bajillion things, but most of all, he taught me that life is precious. He loved his life… I have heard friends and colleagues say that he was smitten with his life and his family, and that feels true. Sure, there were hard times, disappointments, bad days. But overall, Nick was happy – he had everything he wanted, and wanted everything he had.
During the funeral service, the priest told us something Nick’s aunt said. She said that life in our world is sometimes overwhelming for people who are as kind and caring as Nick. That makes sense to me. Our world is a rough and jagged place, and it can be too much for people with such kind and gentle heart.
So many people who left comments on Nick’s tribute page, or on Facebook, described him as gentle, kind, joyous, inspiring. From grade school through college and the Peace Corps and his career, everyone described him in the same way. How wonderful that someone could be so genuine, so caring, so loving, throughout his entire life. It really is something to aspire to.
Nick was still so young. And yet he lived a full and happy life. His life wasn’t measured by how many years he existed, but by how amazing each of his years was. I am inspired by that.
I have no clue which day will be my last. It could be tomorrow. It could be next year. It could be fifty years from now. But I know that when it’s time, when my life is over, I want to be happy. I want to have few regrets. I want to to have lived my life to the fullest, to have soaked up every last bit of it. As Red says in The Shawshank Redemption, you have to either “get busy living, or get busy dying.”
And so I will live. I will strive to be happy. I will appreciate my life, and try to live it fully. For Nick.