I just returned from the US yesterday. En route, I learned that my friend Jeff Salz had died of covid-19. I’m shocked and heartbroken.
First let me say this: I am honored to have been able to call Jeff Salz my friend. He was a better man than me, and to have him consider me to be someone he wanted to be friends with is all one can ask for in life.
Second, for those who did not know him, I will say this and hope it conveys enough meaning: he was the most openhearted person I have ever met.
Beyond that, Robert Bradley wrote an obituary (though it is more than that) about Jeff earlier this week that I could not have done as good a job on, so please read it here: (https://cuencahighlife.com/cuenca-expat-community-loses-adventurer-and-motivator-jeff-salz-to-covid-19/). For more on Jeff, please go to jeffsalz.com. I think it will make you feel happy to learn that such a fantastic person lived here amongst us in Cuenca.
Death seems to be coming in waves to us here and throughout the world. I’ve lost more than a few friends to covid in the last year; I lost others to different things in 2021 as well. There’s a saying I’ve heard many times, “death is harder on the living.” I’m not sure if that is true or not, but I do hate how much pain I know Lisa is going thru missing Jeff right now.
That said, I wonder what Jeff sees now. He was a “swashbuckler” as someone once said, a real adventurer in the eyes of those who thought ourselves adventurers (until we met him).
He epitomized that saying, “live life to the fullest.” But now I wonder, what is he doing in death? Is he trying to show someone how to free climb? Did he just finish explaining to someone what om mani padme hum means? What is Jeff seeing that none of us have had the chance to glimpse yet?
I know this: if there is the afterlife I believe exists, no one is experiencing it more, or taking more joy from it, or giving more to it, than Jeff. Because that is who he was, and who I think he still is.
No more needs to be said for those of us who knew Jeff, and for those of us who didn’t, know this: he was your friend just waiting for you to meet him.