Earlier this month, a very good friend of mine and his family experienced the loss of an old-time and very close family friend. Having read his obituary in the Boston Globe, I got the distinct impression that Stephen Bernardi was a truly great friend to many people and I found it very moving that this is what will prevail after his passing. The way he touched people and got involved in their lives will stay with them, wrapped up in their family stories, for decades… and reminds is that it is this, more than professional successes and private accomplishments, that we hope will outlive us.
I did not know Stephen Bernardi, but I thought I’d pay tribute to him by quoting something he wrote for the 25th anniversary report of his Harvard class (quoted from the obituary): “Five years ago, the wife of one of our classmates regretted that life is not a dress rehearsal […] I find congenial the unstated metaphor that life is drama but am not so sure that I would want to go through it with much advance knowledge of the script. The fun and challenge of it — at least for me — is that we don’t know our parts very well. Indeed, on occasion we don’t know them at all. And therefore we are forced to improvise, sometimes cautiously, sometimes wildly.’’