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    Slowing Down

    AlexRandolphHeadshot2

    Life always seems to be a little slower whenever someone you know dies or is very sick. You think about the last time you shared a moment together, the memories you created, and the things that still could have been. You celebrate and remember their impact on you, society, or community. Recent deaths like David Bowie and Prince get national attention. Others are more personal and low key. I sometimes turn to the obituary section in the newspapers and read about the wonderful, tragic, simple, or adventurous lives people have had. They were teachers, inventors, spies, daughters, friends, refugees, dictators and much more. Death is sad, but should also be a celebration of life.

    For me personally, April was a particularly tough month. Two people I knew passed on too soon and unexpectedly. My dad is on life support and our family is doing our good-byes. (Editor’s Note: Randolph’s father passed away shortly after this piece was filed.) I am not alone. Recently my Facebook feed was filled with sadness and news of loss and loved ones dying. It is a fact that we can’t live forever and that death is inevitable. A good friend of mine told me, “Live each day as if it’s your first and last.” I fully embrace this, and try to spend as much time with my friends and family who mean a lot to me. But it is easier said than done.

    As our lives and work take over, it is much harder to follow this mantra. Especially in today’s world, technology can make it much harder to focus on what is important and the people we love. We answer one last email during dinner, or watch the Warriors game while at the playground with our kids. We assume that there will be another chance to hang out with our friends or loved ones tomorrow or next week. We figure it is not a big deal if we stay silent, or do not talk to them for a while.

    Living in the moment takes effort, but the connections and memories we make with each other are what is so special about human life. As my life slowed down this last week, I hugged my husband a little tighter, talked to my mother a little longer, and spent time with my friends a little more. Can that work email wait? Can the Warriors game be paused? Can we slow down? Can we just take a moment?

    Alex Randolph is a Trustee for City College of San Francisco. He previously served in President Obama’s administration and as an LGBT advisor for Mayor Newsom. He lives in the Castro with his partner Trevor. Follow him on social media:  www.twitter.com/adrandolph & www.facebook.com/AlexDRandolph