Hello friends. It’s Jason with this week’s blog post.
I’ve been thinking about doing this post for a few weeks now, but I struggled writing it and it never seemed like a good time to publish it. And I know this post isn’t about what we do at Blue Gurus or a tip on blogging or LinkedIn, but it’s something important to me and I hope it’s thought provoking for you.
I had some time over the long holiday weekend to put my thoughts down, so here goes. (Be sure to check out the link to the instructions at the bottom of this post for disabling a LinkedIn profile for someone that has passed, but their profile is still active.)
A good friend of mine, Jim Belfield, died on April 10th in a car wreck. He was only 54 years old.
Jim was a dentist with his own practice. I met Jim on the golf course and remember being impressed with how good a golfer he was. I mention this detail because it’s important later…
He joined one of the peer advisory groups I’m in and our relationship grew strong over many years together. We shared the ups and downs of life. We talked about business. We talked about family. We talked about leadership. We talked about providing for friends, family and those in need. We talked about stuff that matters. We shot skeet at Powder Creek together. And we loved eating goldfish crackers together at our business retreats at the lake.
Jim continues to have an impact on my life and I think about him often. I know there are literally thousands of people that can say the same thing.
I chose the title for this post because for me, it’s the most important point.
The question is, “Who will show up at your funeral?” The answer for Jim was, “a whole lot of people.”
Jim’s funeral was at St. Joseph Catholic Church on Johnson Drive. It’s a large church with a beautiful sanctuary. And it was completely full. There were literally hundreds of people that showed up to honor Jim and support his family. It was an amazing testament to the life that Jim led. He impacted so many people with his love and generosity.
I attended the service with the other members of our peer advisory group.
Mike Jones, one of the founders of our group, has always talked about how we are “stretcher bearers” for each other in life. That we would do life together for many, many years and ultimately serve as pallbearers for each other until we were too frail or too few to do so. We weren’t the pallbearers at the cemetery, but we were definitely Jim’s pallbearers in spirit.
One of Jim’s best friends and golfing partners spoke at the funeral. (His nickname is “Captain Fairway” because he usually ends up in the fairway when he’s golfing.) He did such an amazing job. I’d held it together pretty well until he told the story of he and Jim winning a Lake Quivira golf tournament.
Captain Fairway had a falling out with his next door neighbor. It was over something the neighbor had done. The tournament came down to Jim and Captain Fairway against the neighbor and one of his friends. When Jim and Captain Fairway ended up winning, it felt so good. He had finally beaten his nemesis and felt vindicated.
Jim walked up to Captain Fairway on that final green and said, “Can you forgive your neighbor now?”
It was a perfect example of the kind of person Jim was. And it definitely had me in tears.
Mic mentioned to me recently that he got a notice from LinkedIn that Jim was celebrating a work anniversary. Sadly, that’s not the case and it’s one of a million loose ends that hasn’t been taken care of when someone passes unexpectedly.
I didn’t want to bother the family about it, and they might not have known how to take care of it anyway.
If you know someone that passes, and you see that their LinkedIn profile is still active, all you have to do is fill out a form. You don’t even have to be a family member. Click here for the LinkedIn support ticket with instructions and a link to the form.
I miss you Jim. Thank you for being my friend and for giving me perspective. I will see you again some day, hopefully on a golf course with a healthy supply of goldfish crackers.