Saturday, March 19, 2016

Grieving For My Friend

My friend Sebastian Benjamin died last Sunday night. I am heartbroken for his family. His wife is a friend - I actually introduced them. And he has three beautiful children whose lives will be forever affected by the loss of this man.

I don’t remember meeting Sebastian. We worked together at JWT Atlanta, and while he started there a couple of years after I did, I have no recollection of a Sebastian-less JWT. Even though we worked on different accounts, we got to be friends, I’d even say good friends, and we talked about everything.

Sebastian was funny. And he thought I was funny, so he made me feel good. We laughed a lot. For the majority of our time together at JWT, we were just two people in a common orbit, spending time together when we could.

For about a year, I actually worked for Sebastian on the US Virgin Islands account. That wasn’t the best arrangement, as it turned out. I wasn’t what the account person he needed on the account, and he wasn’t the manager I needed. But when I moved on to another account, our friendship remained strong, thank God.

I already said he was funny. He was also smart. And he cared about his friends. And when he smiled, everyone around him was warmed by it. He had a “colorful” vocabulary. He was a pain in the ass because he always wanted the work to be better, and he could never tell the client no. He loved his wife, Kim, and told me many times that she was the best thing that had ever happened to him, and he didn’t deserve her. He was madly in love with his children.

All week, memories of Sebastian have been flooding my mind. After I left JWT, we didn’t see each other much. Lives move in different directions. My last memory of him is at an impromptu party at another friend’s house. We were all sitting out on her balcony, and Sebastian was in the corner, right next to me, and we were all laughing. If I won’t have the luxury of making more memories with him, I’m glad this is what I’m left with. But I’m going to miss that laughter.

Rest in peace, my good friend. And I hope you know how much you were loved. The world is a little less vivid without you here.