It has however taught me a few very important lessons, more so than any other death that has taken place in my lifetime. Maybe because he was so young and has made me be thankful for any birthday I've had since. When family, friends and randoms have said "Oh, it's just another day" or "uurrrghh, I don't want to turn thirty..." I want to give them a shake. Age, in most cases, is a privilege that is regularly taken for granted. I'm sure you'll agree on days when you're ill, or something awful has happened, there's nothing you would wish for more than 'a bit of normality'/feeling 'normal' again and the same goes for the gift of life. This attitude has encouraged me to try things that I wouldn't have pushed myself to do and take chances to improve my life and have lots of experiences I might not have had the confidence or the drive to pursue
Maybe because it threatened my own mortality? Let's face it, we expect older people to die, and that's not harsh, it's a fact of life. But when a lad of twenty dies in a tragic road accident, you begin to realise, especially at the point in your life when you feel like you're invincible and can take on the world single handedly, that you're not invincible and all the risk taking, careless behaviours people indulge in need to be replaced by more respectful ones.
Lastly, his death has been a contributing factor in me being less of a doormat. A combination of this and growing older has made me less tolerant of toxic situations and relationships. I'm now only an advocate of trying to nurture something worth trying for whether that's a friendship, romance, work situation or general day to day occurrence.
So, thank you, Jim. I miss him more than anyone will ever realise, but his impact on my life will never be unappreciated or forgotten and neither will he.