He continued, “It becomes your whole life and to even have a shot to be good, you have to be consumed and obsessed. If it isn’t who you are, it’s hard to have the edge you need. And then all of the sudden it is gone and you better figure out really quick who you are without it.”
Alison’s situation has some parallels to mine.
Both Brian and Zac had an unmatched intelligence and coincidentally an interest for careers in finance. They had big hearts and believed in our dreams, leaving us documentation to prove it.
Alison showed me Zac’s last text to her which read, “You have helped me through so much and never ever blame yourself for anything. I love you and will always be over your shoulder looking after you no matter what. Always keep having fun. Always remember me. Always keep striving for greatness, or should I say, first female president. Never quit fighting for what you believe for. I love you Winslow."
Similarly, I found a Facebook message from Brian that read, “You’re a great girl with a great heart, super talented, beautiful and really hard working. I don’t know how but I know you’re going to change the world. Big or small, you will make a difference. Keep growing and improving and learning, but never lose sight of the fact that you are destined to do some great things some day. ”
He added, “I love you and I hope I can always say that.”
Even so, in many ways our stories are different. Zac left behind many answers, as his death was very much premeditated. I, on the other hand, am left with nothing but questions, as Brian’s death was unexpected and not caused by suicide.
As I put together Alison’s story for our newscast, I realized Alison can’t write in the blanks to Brian’s passing but she is helping me to fill in some of the holes in my heart.
When you watch her story, you learn the dangers of CTE, the message she wants to get across about CTE and athletics and what Zac wanted people to know about his condition.
But that’s not all.
As I listen to Alison’s interview over and over, I recognize that Alison provided me, and maybe will provide you, too, with another crucial and possibly even unintended lesson. She showed me that in the midst of grieving an unfathomable loss, the way to continue to express your love is by using their influence to find the strength to continue to pursue your purpose.