A few hours ago I found out David DePaolo was killed in a motorcycle-related accident over the weekend. Friends, colleagues, business associates all have attempted to express their feelings at this shocking news, news that anyone who knew David finds tough to believe.
Because he lived life to the fullest.
Flying his plane, riding his bike at zero-dark-thirty, cruising on his motorcycle, opining on the weighty issues of the day, confronting us with the uncomfortable truths, all attacked with passion and energy. David delighted in disagreeing without being disagreeable, a skill he exemplified. Even if you really disagreed with his perspective, it was always impossible to ignore him.
His last post, a brutal and much-deserved takedown of pharma giant Purdue, is classic David.
There are so many battles left to fight, so many problems demanding our attention, so much left to do, and now we have to do it without him. Suddenly it just seems a lot harder.
We all have lost a unique person, one that made the world a better place because he cared deeply. I’m so sorry for his family and close friends, for they knew David far better than I ever did, and thus will miss him so.
The takeaway for me is simple – at the end of life, you have only your reputation, the good you’ve done, the life you’ve led.
David left more than most of us ever will.