When it comes to my business, people ask me what makes me stand out. One reason among many is that I keep my clients. When I say I keep my clients, I work with them for a long time and/ or stay in touch and/ or they come back.
A few years ago a person who had just retired received one of my gift certificates from a donation I had made. I don’t remember the event I donated to and I didn’t ask when they called me. The certificate landed in their hands when they needed it because they needed a resume done.
I met with them. I remember the night because I was wound up and stressed out and they could sense it. They also were eyeing me carefully as I started with usual round of questions. I spent three hours with them. They paid me for the other two that I hadn’t donated. I didn’t even have to ask.
They got upset because I switched something by accident. I fixed the mistake and all was well.
They called every once in a while. Yet I also got the sense things weren’t going well.
The last time I heard from them was sometime last spring or summer. They said they needed help with a letter and I said call me when they were ready. They never called back and I didn’t think much of it.
So life can be weird.
A little over a week ago I went to an event out of my usual ways of travel. I passed the place where I had met my client I talk about above. I said to myself that I wonder how they are doing and I kept driving.
This past Saturday I was at a life-cycle event and there happened to be a newspaper in the lobby of the building. I miss getting newspapers. There is something pleasurable about sitting there and reading them. I picked up the already well-thumbed through paper and the first page it opened to was the obituary page and their name was the first thing I saw.
They had died the same day I passed the place where I had met them.
I’m grateful I was able to make the funeral today. Like in many cases, I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to say good-bye in person. Had I known they were sick, I would have gone to visit.
One of their relatives spoke and said how this person said they would bring in the spring. And they did. In a packed house of worship with the snow melting outside and the sun shining brightly on the day of equal day and equal night.
I only knew this person briefly but as others spoke I realized they are the type that even a few minutes with them and they are memorable. I also realized we had more in common than I first knew or had the chance to ask about.
As much as I am saddened and their family is saddened, there was love there. And a sense of peace and accomplishment. Some days I don’t get that much and I don’t find that in many situations I am in and many places I go.
Being there was an honor. I am also grateful for the experience and that even if they didn’t know it in the physical plane, they have taught me as well.
Thank you, wherever you are.