A few weeks ago my calendar alerted me it was Mike’s birthday. I was in Europe. Having not heard from Mike in some time I was excited to reconnect. First I sent an email, and got this:

Mail Delivery Subsystem

Okay… Hmm. Let me try Facebook:

Facebook discussion

This doesn’t look good. There’s usually some delay between correspondence (sometimes months at a time), but we’re going on a year now and I haven’t heard a thing. This isn’t good. Let me check his Facebook wall:

Last Facebook post

Hmm. Most recent post was on December 10, 2011. Not good. What about other social media?

His last tweet

Last tweet was November 15, 2011. Not good. Okay, when did we last text?

Last text

November 24, 2011. We were talking about his health back then. Things were rough but seemed to be getting better. I remember the last time we hung out he was talking about going to UCLA Medical Center and things weren’t looking too good. That said, he was in the process of starting a new company (Mike was a life-long entrepreneur) and excited to discuss the plans and his strategy for getting things going. Our last digital correspondence was on December 9, 2011:

Last message

And that was the last time I heard from Mike. Things weren’t sitting well with me so I reached out to a mutual friend and got this:

RIP

Now you’re probably thinking I’m a real shitty friend. We’re approaching two years and somehow I managed to not know. I wasn’t invited to the funeral. I didn’t even know it had happened. Mike and I would bump into each other in NYC, at events in LA, and maybe 2-3 times a year plan a one-on-one dinner in Long Beach. His company was called “Maverick Marketing Group” and Mike was a Maverick if I ever knew one. We were hardly best friends, but we were meaningful in each other’s lives. At least he was to me. Mike had promised to take me up in a helicopter one day so I could skydive out. He was happiest on the water, a sailer if I ever knew one. I’m still shocked for today’s news and have a lot of mixed feelings about things I never said, trips we never took, times we never had. But I’m glad to have known Mike and smile at how he approached life and impacted mine. One of Mike’s last Facebook posts was a sentiment to his constant happiness and zest for life.

Living life.

If you have friends you haven’t spoken to in a while, someone you keep meaning to spend some quality time with or take that trip you’ve always discussed, remember, life is precious. It’ fleeting. Then it’s gone. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

By Alex Capecelatro, founder of At The Pool