It’s been just over 24 hours since I heard the news that made my heart drop into my stomach. I am still having trouble moving through the stages of shock, denial, anger, and pain.
Our brains aren’t meant to handle a sudden unfathomable loss of someone close. My young friend. My friend who represented life, love and light in so many times of darkness. We connected in many places with so many real, raw and vibrant emotions.
She was a rockstar. Someone who had such strength and conviction yet still had a softness about her that drew you in and made you feel safe. Someone who lived life with purpose and passion. Her generosity was boundless and her kindness unwavering.
My last moments with her were spent in the exact spot in Central Park we had met almost two and half years before during a yoga session. Coming full circle – yet leaving so much more to say.
To my friend who’s last words to me were “I can’t wait to meet up with you in some exotic locale!”
You were supposed to fly to Iguazu falls with me. We were supposed to get lunch on the Upper West and take advantage of the fact that we were neighbors. You were supposed to come to my rooftop with a view. I was supposed to come to your rooftop with a view. You were supposed to meet up with me somewhere in the world this year.
And now you’re gone.
We shared so much in common. Our love for flowers, sunsets, delicious food and California coasts. We both graduated from UCLA and The Institute for Compassionate Leadership. We would talk frequently about staying positive while living in the crazy city of NYC. Your spirit and heart connected deeply with mine.
And now you’re gone.
I would give anything for one more beach trip, one more dinner, one more apple picking adventure, one more chance to just sit quietly and share life with someone who understands.
Watching you speak at TedxBushwick inspired me to rise through life’s pain, seek light and share truth. Seeing your courage in taking an alternate career path after graduating medical school and living into your bliss inspired me to never settle and always remember what matters most.
I loved your warmth. Your smile. Your heart. We shared so many smiles and tears and I can’t believe something like an accident could just take you away like this.
I love you Jamie. Thank you for sharing your life with me. I will never be the same.
As Nelson Mandela said: “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
This is what Jamie lived and breathed and what she truly meant to me. Her desire to “make passion your paycheck” and “do what you love NOW” resonate even deeper now.
In conclusion, I would like to encourage you to stop and think about what’s really important to you and what you can do for the world. Make it happen. Immediately. Don’t wait.No more excuses. No more tomorrow I will start. Accidents happen. Circumstances change. Beautiful lights go out as quickly as they came into your life.
Dedicated to Jamie Zimmerman M.D. 1983 – 2015