I think of Emily Dickinson’s poem as I reflect on the shockingly sudden passing of my dear friend Omar Ahmad, who left this world on May 10, 2011.
Omar was a great optimist who made me think about possibility, and he made me want to do something great and live everything…
Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the question now. Perhaps then, some day far in the future, you will gradually without even noticing it, live your way in to the answer.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke, trans. by Stephen Mitchell (via Kristen Collins)
The past few years I’ve felt the pain of loss of several close friends.
It hurts. I miss Omar. A lot. Even as I watch Omar’s memorial.
I remember from ten life lessons: Don’t take yourself too seriously.
I do feel like I didn’t spend enough time with Omar.
And neither did Rohit. Or our little friend. Though we be successful.
I loved Omar. He was truly a friend who inspired me to be kind.
I will watch Omar’s TED talk again and again as a reminder to be active.
I truly miss you, Omar. I truly do. And I still feel connected to you.
Thank you, Omar. You and Steve Jobs inspire me to do something great — to design something simple that brings great happiness to others with what is left of my life…
Almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
It’s worth repeating what Steve Jobs said. “There is no reason not to follow your heart.”