Writers have to write, right? No matter the circumstance, writing just makes me feel better. I can’t move on, get closure, any of those crazy terms that mean you hurt so bad, but you’re supposed to let it all go. I can’t let it all go unless I write it down. Otherwise, my brain will be in an endless loop of drafts and rewrites.
Life, death, grief. All those that you meet in your life, you meet those that shape you. Mold you. You know you're better for knowing them. And when you lose them, even if the day came where you didn’t talk to them all the time, when you lose them it’s like a bomb’s gone off.
Boom. His name was Jock.
Just typing his name stirs up a lot of powerful emotions for me. Most of which are raw, personal and deeply emotional, but that’s what we’re here for.
More than a boss. More than a friend. He was my leader. Someone who could advise me and I felt safe knowing that whatever he told me, was truth.
He was a powerhouse. Someone who could move mountains. He inspired everyone wherever you went. With the twinkle in his eye and his mad cackling laugh, Jock was all fun. He corralled people and together those people thought they could change the world.
Maybe we did, for a little while. A small start-up decoding VINs and printing dealership window stickers, I knew from my very first day I was part of something special. Magic. We all wanted to be there and were so proud of our work. Working 80 hours a week wasn’t a chore.
It was a privilege. We weren’t just co-workers we were family.
And we’ve lost our patriarch, no matter how long it’s been since we’ve all been together. Death isn’t quiet. It’s not a ship sailing into the night. It’s violent. Like a tornado ripping someone from your life and the world, that’ll never be the same. A darkened silhouette where they used to be. A ghost of a thought and whisper when you’re all drawn together, but know someone is missing. Someone that will be gone forever.
Lost. Raw. Forever. How do you grapple with forever?
Friendship and loyalty it was pretty much everything. Back when we had just started working For DataOne, Michael and I had to move very quickly. Jock said to us, “whatever you need, let me know. You guys are family now.”
He had known me about 4 weeks at that point. 4 weeks. He was a generous spirit someone who dreamed big, lived big. Went after what he wanted. And when it didn't work, he looked for the next thing that did.
As a leader, a boss, you couldn’t have asked for a better champion. Loyal to a fault, he always believed in you and he always had your back. As far as CEOs went, he made mistakes, but it didn’t matter.
His loyalty inspired loyalty. He asked you to do something that was unreasonable in a time frame that was way too short. There was no way you could do it, but you said yes. You want 60? I’ll give you 80. Anything really just not to let you down because he never let you down.
Life took him far and wide. Missionary work was important to him and like a nomad, you couldn’t really pin him down. But when he stopped by my house after some whirlwind trip, we exchanged stories. We laughed like we had just seen him yesterday. The stories were crazy and the hugs were heartfelt. Until the next time, some months (or maybe a year) later, when it’d happen again.
Until next time, Jock.