The recently-held inaugural Matthew Millhouse Salute was a very rewarding experience for myself and others who had been close to Matt. It was also a lot of fun and I am looking forward to working towards making next year’s event even better.
In the lead up to the event, I spent a bit of time thinking about my friend and what his loss meant to me two years on. It still hurts. I don’t think that’s ever going to stop entirely and I’m not sure I want it to. I sure as hell don’t want to forget.
One thing that helps with my loss is being able to feel that I can take on a shard of Matt’s personality and make it part of me. It’s not about honouring a memory, which we do in many other ways. This is something for myself.
There were many things I loved and admired about my friend, but perhaps more than anything Matthew Millhouse embodied courage to me. Not the stupidity to act without thinking of the consequences, but the willingness to face any fears head on and to do things he was terrified of, such that he wouldn’t be limited by his fears.
That is what I can emulate. I can be braver. I had a realisation some time ago that I had been letting concerns of failing hold me back, and since I made peace with the possibility of occasionally failing, I have made my life more fulfilling. But I am still a cautious person by nature and I can do still more with my life, if I am brave enough. And with Matt as my inspiration, I intend to take my courage to another level and take greater risks and challenges in a number of areas of my life.
So I have to say thanks once more to my friend, not just for all that he did for me when he was alive. I also thank him for what I will achieve in the future that I may not have without his example.