There has been an outpouring of grief for a friend and colleague. Jeff Milne.
Apologies to those of you who I have not been able to get back to personally who have contacted me to assist. I have been processing my own grief in the mix.
Jeff was an extraordinary human being. He was available…in heart and soul, for so many people. If you were touched by his presence you were very lucky.
Jeff had an amazing ability to see you. He said it frequently. ‘I see you’. And he did. He brought out the best in people.
And in each interaction, he listened, and responded with an attentiveness, that brought out and acknowledged the depth and truth of a person. I watched him, and I experienced it. It was enlightening.
His passion, exuberance, professionalism and kindness were an absolute testimony of a loving human being.
Sometimes people come into your life at the right time. Jeff did, several times, in mine.
I’ve known Jeff professionally for many years. We dipped in and out of connection with always the right inflection of mutual affection.
But it was when I needed a job while looking for a home during a setback in my life, that Jeff had a temporary opening with his team, and invited me in. I have always been especially grateful for that opportunity. The work we did together, and the people we worked with, created a meaningful experience holistically.
And it was Jeff who handed me a publishing brochure that ultimately led me to releasing a book of my art and poetry. He was always marvelously supportive.
We developed a friendship of mutual regard, respect, and a fondness for learning and conversing about many wide and wonderful things, and sharing numerous stories.
From the contacts I have received over the weekend I think he touched many other people similarly, albeit with their own unique blend.
Known for his kindness, humour, and goodwill, his interest in humanity at a deep and satisfying level was inspiring. But it was his smile that was the best. Always welcoming.
For those of you who have asked for a few words to get through the sadness since the news of his sudden passing, some of whom, like me, had plans to see him over the next few weeks, remember that your grief is a testament to your depth of feeling for him. Cherish it.
Take time to remember the features of his personality that were uniquely his, and the experiences and memories he left with you as his legacy, the many qualities he displayed, and the feelings of worth and validation you found in his company. He was undeniably a supporter of people. Take those memories with you, and hold them preciously in your heart, as an honouring of what he meant, to you. As I will too.
And wish his soul well for the next part of his journeying.
My deepest condolences to his wife and family.