They say the good die young.
Well whoever "they" are, they are right.
On Sunday, April 9, 2017, our dear friend Stefan Seigmann passed away following a tragic car accident in Santa Fe. There is no way to describe the feeling that has swept through each and every one of us who knew Stefan. Something like the the aftershock of a nuclear bomb is how I'm feeling. When I found out, my ears were ringing and I lost all the strength in my legs to keep myself standing. I'm numb. We are all numb.
It is hard in times like these to not just sink into your bed, cry, question any beliefs you may have, and wonder continually, "Why?" Why Stefan? He was only 29. He was planning on moving to Flagstaff in just a couple of months, he was just here last weekend. Why do things like this happen to people like Stefan, or Brian, or Nate, or Greg, or any other person who has had their life cut short for one reason or another? I've asked myself this question far too many times in the last 18 months and have never found an answer. Because there isn't one. Human life is just fragile.
But Stefan didn't live as if life were fragile. Stefan lived his life to the absolute fullest. So here's a toast to Stefan, his parents, Hubert and Lisa, and all of us who's life he touched. Here is what I would say to Stefan if I had one last chance to tell him.
I would start by saying "thank you."
Thank you, Stefan, for being such an phenomenal, remarkable human being. You are truly one of the greatest people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. You never fail to bring a smile to my face, laughter to my belly, and a glimmer to my eyes. You light up any room you walk into, and have some extraordinary power to make everyone feel at ease and loved. The quote on my yogi tea today read, "kindness is the essence of life" and I couldn't help but think of you. You are so kind, positive, and loving. You extend an olive branch to each and every person, no matter how well you do or do not know them, no matter how they treat you. You are an inspiration. The way you live--committed to having a kick ass life, a happy and full life... You're doing it right. You care so much about your friends, family, your work, coaching.... I can't wait to have you here in Flagstaff. You are going to be such a wonderful addition to our community and you are going to have such a positive affect on all of our lives. I love you, Steffy Baby.
And if I had the chance to tell Stefan this, I would be telling him while we sat drunk in Pita Pit, at 2 am, after drinking old fashioned(s) at Rendezvous or dancing our faces off (in bad fashion) at Monsoon all night. Afterwards, we would all stumble home, sit on my couch, and shoot the shit, talking about how much we love each other and how lucky we all are to have one another.
But I know Stefan knows all of this, and I know he is hearing me say it now. Because I am a strong believer in the human soul. And to me, Stefan's soul is still, and always will be, with us. His energy will always be felt. And our memories never ever forgotten.
Hubert and Lisa, I cannot even fathom how much you are hurting right now. But I hope you two are taking solace in the fact that you raised an incredible son. A son who could have only been as incredible as he was because he came from two amazing parents. You guys are the shining light in the dark, you are what made Stefan the person he was, and he will always live on through you, and through all of us. I know we are 8 hours away, but your Flagstaff family is always here for you, and we are sending unfathomable amounts of love to you in this hard time.
I was lucky enough to see Stef just last weekend, when he came to surprise Davis for the First Annual Boz Bump Comp. That's the friend Stefan was. The one that would drive 6 hours after working in the OR all day to surprise and support his best friend. And that's how he will be remembered. The last words I had with Stefan were in the midst of a massive hug, and it was an exchange of I love you's and see you soon's. I can still feel that hug, and I'll hold onto that forever.
I've written these words in a similar fashion too many times, but with death comes lessons and growth. We are again reminded of how precious and fragile human life is, and how quickly it can be over. So hug and kiss the ones you love and make sure they know you love them, live every day with a kind heart and open arms, be gracious and non-judgmental, and never ever forget: you only have one shot, better make it the Best Life Ever.
Writing is something I have always been passionate about. I love sharing my stories, my thoughts, my advice, but mostly, I write to record memories and express myself. So here are a few of my fondest memories, best and worst moments, my most profound and boisterous thoughts, and riskiest advice. Enjoy!