Helping leaders emerge

Blog - April 2014

We Do Not Honor the Dead by Dying With Them ....In the Midst of Difficulty, Lies Opportunity

"A Mindful Leadership Story by Rick Gardner"

One of the most profound experiences on mindful leadership I have known came out of a family tragedy. On September 26, 2007, my oldest son, Zia died suddenly of a previously unknown and undetected heart condition. He was 34 years old. Zia was home alone in the early evening and had called 911.  The apartment was a four-story structure and he was on the third floor.  Paramedics arrived but initially could not get in since the door was locked.  By the time they were able to break down the door and get to the third floor, Zia had died. I quickly called our son James to deliver the terrible news.  James was living about ten minutes away from us at the time. I told him we would bring our youngest son Jeremy over while Diane and I made the trip into town to see Zia. My wife and I now belonged to a club that no one wants to join, surviving parents of children.

While we were fortunate to have abundant support from family and friends during this difficult period, I realized that everyone would need to deal with this loss in their own way and I had no idea what that would even be for me, let alone for others.

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