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Today I attended the celebration of life for an employee who became my first non-manager friend at work… There were hundreds of people there from CBC, Global, his circles of friends outside work and family. I was so absolutely touched to see the outpouring of support and grateful that he impacted so many lives.

It brings up the challenging struggle for me as an HR person of how much you can be “friends” with the employees you help support. Particularly in the age of Social Media when HR professionals are so careful about who they let into their private worlds…I’m sad that I won’t get to personally see his kids grow up or keep in touch with his wife.

Murray was a truly good friend. Who taught me life lessons, shared recipes and laughs. Someone who was creative, and one of the best in the business, without exaggeration. Someone I have missed every single day when he was away battling cancer, but even in his absence, left the lifelong lesson to live in the moment. Someone who exemplified what it was to be human.

His last words to me 15 or so months ago were: I’m sending you an email and I want to say I’m glad you’re not my HR person on this one. I’m glad you’re my friend. And if I don’t get another chance before I see you next, remember to live in the moment. Take risks.

We never got a chance to talk again.

So with that said…to each and every one of you in my world – it’s a good life lesson. One I hope I’m brave and strong enough to embrace. To live each day beyond the fullest. To let everyone in your world know that they matter. To take risks. To do what you love, and do it well. To be with people who matter to you.

Here’s to hoping 2013 is a year when relationships deepen. I invite each and every single one of my friends to make that commitment, and to act on it. I will.

In memory of Murray Crooks.  Jan 9 1957- Dec 28 2012

Written Jan 5, 2013

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