Death as a Shock

The announcement of Jeff Nelson’s sudden and unexpected death today came as a profound shock venta de viagra en sevilla. Circumstances and unanswered questions aside, the passing of a mature and vibrant leader whom Northwestern University of Health Science’s Board of Trustees had selected as steward of their brand and leader through a set of anticipated challenging and difficult transitions was arresting, painful and mind-numbing news. I cannot even imagine what his family must be going through, and as a parent of three teenaged children my heart aches for the pain, confusion, and mess of emotions they must be dealing with at this time.

I didn’t know Jeff well. I spent about 90 minutes with him. I did not agree with much of what he was seeking to put into place, more out of my values of style and orientation toward pluralism and healthy cultural transitions than quarrels with the goals themselves. Professional differences aside, he was a person whom a number of good friends and respected acquaintances had chosen to lead Northwestern into the next chapter of its future, and they chose him in good conscience feeling that they were fulfilling their responsibilities. By extension, he deserved respect and time to work and achieve the ambitious goals he set for the institution. As much as I challenged him, I also hoped for the best: that he would achieve the goals he outlined for the institution and its community. Because if successful, Northwestern could and would truly occupy a unique place in health care education, services, and professional identity. Differences again aside, bold leadership is needed for our profession. Jeff certainly was establishing that identification with his work.

The freshly-minted organizational goals, and the efforts being established to achieve them, are for now secondary to the tragedy of a family’s unimaginable and deeply personal loss. In addition, Northwestern is a small community; the shock of an institution in mid-stride in efforts to modify its identity, mission and vision has to be deeply felt. All in all, a painful and confusing time, and a set of challenges and questions that will take time to address and understand.

In the midst of these concrete problems and concerns, there is also the ineffable set of questions and considerations that come with someone who suddenly leaves this Earth. Woven into those are the feelings and thoughts of those around them who cared and embraced them–even those who have been engaged in profound debate and who have been searching for ways of finding what might be held in common, even as they react to what seems to separate them.

Personally, prayer is deeply important and meaningful. In terms of form, it is a way of embracing a connection with my Source. Whatever Jeff’s connection with the God of his Heart may have been, or continues to be, I hope and trust it is both a source of deep and healing solace and a means to the brightest and most compelling Light imaginable. It is with those feelings and values that I offer my heartfelt condolences and prayers for the healing of Jeff’s soul, those he left behind, and the community he had so recently joined with such passion and fervor.



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2 Responses to Death as a Shock

  1. I was so terribly sorry to hear of this tragic event. May his soul rest in peace.
    Tina S. Greenberg, D.C.

  2. Susan Marty says:

    Thank you, Steve for using your gift of expression helping us all get thru such a difficult time. I know Jeff had a very strong faith and was excited by the love of his family.
    Such a palpable deep loss for so many.
    Sue Marty

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