I’ve only had a few short days to process that I will never see my friend Scott Spoo again. It is raw. I know I will be okay, because I have unfortunately lived through awful things like this before, but that doesn’t make it stop hurting. It only gives me hope that at some point it will become a pain that is easier to bear.
After spending the morning with friends and family on Wednesday at his funeral I didn’t think twice about what I needed to do after. I went to a special place we loved and I ran. I ran and cried and smiled and felt so many emotions. I don’t really know what I thought.
Sometimes running is the only thing that makes sense. I listened to my feet smash into the muddy ground and the wind as it pushed against me. I listened for Scott to feel him there with me.
Running is primal. Running on trails is a spiritual connection to nature. In my heart that is where Scott is now. Whenever someone asks me what I think about when I run the answer is the same. I have no idea. I just always feel better at the end. And I did. I smiled thinking of my friend at the end waiting for me like he did in life and as I walked up to my car I turned around like the last time I saw him and I said aloud ‘goodbye Scott‘ although I’m not sure it was a goodbye. I’m not sure I could stand that thought.
Last week a driver hit my friend in a crosswalk while he was on a run. The driver hit him and that was it. Gone. All the potential, hopes and dreams. So many hearts to break when we learned the news. Witnesses said the man was using a cellphone and now we know he had brain tumors, perhaps it was both. I don’t know. Scott wasn’t wearing earbuds. He was very safety conscious. All in all it is just terrible.
I normally am incredibly private and sometimes to a fault as I don’t always share what is going on even when I really should open up. I have grown a lot in the past few years. I am a much stronger person now and I think the difference this time I feel like maybe this will be helpful. At the funeral several people I talked to had never had something like this happen, a sudden and tragic loss of a friend, and I was able to provide some comfort.
The last thing I want from this is attention on myself over this. Yes, I lost someone very special and I am missing out on a future with my friend, but what I really want to do here is shine a spotlight on Scott. I didn’t know Scott for very long to be honest, just a couple years, and we in many ways were just at the start of what I thought would be a very long friendship so it is hard to say this is a tribute fitting him. Rather it is the tribute I can give right now, because it is all I have to give. These are just my honest raw emotions right after losing another friend too soon.
Writing is an outlet for me and helps me process my thoughts and feelings. I don’t know that there is anything other then running or talking about Scott that can help right now and so if sharing a small part of that can help anyone else I want to do it (as scary as it is to open up). I went back on Facebook to connect with people that knew Scott, to look over his profile, to see his face. People have been sharing on Facebook a lot of memories and thoughts about Scott, but I am opening up my comments on this post so if you want to say something here you can add to this post.
Also, his passing was very public. Many people that did not know Scott knew before I did because they saw it on the news. I want them to know what a wonderful person we lost. This feels like the thing I should do right now. I want to honor my friend and this feels right and I don’t want to wait. I want to capture how I feel right now in the raw vulnerability of someone that lost a friend too soon. I don’t want attention on myself and I want to do right by Scott. I want people to not only know Scott as the victim of a horrible accident, but as someone they should have known because I’m so glad I did.
I need to focus on learning how to live in a world without Scott. It doesn’t feel real and I know that it probably never really will, but I need to figure out how to go on and carry him with me in the world because I owe him that and I owe myself too to keep him alive in my heart and my actions.
It was a tragic accident. That makes the anger dissipate for me. The man that took my friend’s life that day lost his wife to cancer not long ago, he has multiple brain tumors, and I am sure he is devastated that Scott is gone because of what happened. Maybe he was at fault and maybe he wasn’t, but nothing will bring back Scott. I feel sick about it all, but I’m glad the anger didn’t last long because that was one of the harder things I’ve had to deal with in the past.
Scott was an organ donor so his kindness has made a very real impact on people that will never know him personally, but will feel the massive impact of his character. I was not surprised at all to learn that about him. That was Scott.
It is so hard to write this because it doesn’t feel real. I don’t want to accept this sadness as real. I don’t want to accept that we don’t get to get coffee/hot cocoa again. I don’t want to accept that he will never be waiting for me at the end of a race or sending me a message that I have to come get free ice cream from him (twist my arm) or that I won’t randomly go somewhere and just see him there with his beautiful smile and get to chat about our latest adventures.
Sometimes life doesn’t make any sense. In those times we must do what we can to process. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. It is not linear. Time does not heal all wounds. Rather we heal ourselves over time, because we must. We have to survive and live our lives to the fullest like Scott.
I am sad that I will not make any new memories with Scott. He was an adventurer, nature-lover, and just plain sweet. He was a truly good person. We first met at a trail race where our mutual friend Amy introduced us. The second time was at an ice cream tasting where he swore he knew me from somewhere and I thought to myself that I would have remembered meeting someone so cute (apparently I did remember meeting him, but I didn’t make the connection that it was him). Finally we figured it out thankfully. I’m very glad he recognized me otherwise we probably never would have become friends.
As you can see from the photos he was incredibly handsome, but he also was a very genuine and kindhearted guy which is a rare combo. To be honest the first few times we crossed paths I enjoyed our brief meetings and flirting with him, but he also really intimidated me what with those Disney eyes and being a super awesome athletic nature lover spontaneous guy while I was feeling like a total mess inside and having a pretty unhealthy situation. I was in a really weird spot in my life of mourning and dealing with a lot of heavy things and I both wanted to be around Scott and it also scared me. I’m glad he stuck it out and that as I became healthier and happier again we were able to connect and that I stopped being so afraid to let someone like him in.
Of course as soon as we actually hung out alone it was clear right away that we just clicked as friends and I felt stupid for being so nervous around him because that was ridiculous (although even as platonic friends those eyes got me every time — he couldn’t help he had dreamboat eyes). I really kicked myself for being too scared to accept his invites to do things all the times before as we could have been friends sooner and there were so many more cool things we would have been able to share with each other, but now that he is gone I don’t want to regret that anymore because that is just too heavy to hold onto. It hurts too much.
It is easy to feel terrible about missing times you could have had when you know that there are no more chances, but that won’t bring him back and it won’t make this hurt go away. It is good to remember that there were times he couldn’t make with me and if the shoe was on the other foot I wouldn’t want him to feel guilt over it. As hard as it is to do I am working on focusing on the times we did have and the important lessons our friendship taught me and how he helped me get past a really rough patch in my life even though I’m sure he didn’t really know it.
I will miss our talks of love and running and just trying to figure life out. He was a true romantic. He was a nice guy. That sounds trite, but I mean it in the sense that he was simply good in that fundamental way that we all need. He was just good people. I wish I had more time to spend with him. We weren’t afraid to speak our minds to each other. We discussed fears and hopes and disappointments and had fun. He was a gentleman and a friend and I will miss him dearly. I already do.
The last day I spent with Scott Spoo was at one of his favorite races. I’m currently wearing the race shirt and have been sleeping in it at night. It is fitting that today is World Wildlife Day. The last time we got together was when we ran the Tiger Tracks 5k which raises money to help wildlife and then spent the day wandering around the whole day at the Minnesota Zoo (so pretty much the perfect day in my book). We talked since then. The last thing he said to me is that he hoped I’d feel better soon as I have not been out running or socializing much due to an injury (one of the things we bonded over in our friendship was the frustration to feel better and get out racing again). The last memory of seeing Scott was of getting a big hug, a wave goodbye, and exciting plans to do more races together. Sadly, that was our last race. I will be running that race again as well as the other one I promised him that I would do with him this year (and of course the race series I do every year that I met him at will be bittersweet).
It feels so surreal writing all of this. I just can’t believe he is gone. We were just starting to get to know each other really. I’m glad that at the end he was in a good place in his life and he was out having adventures. I’m just so sad. I know that is a simple way to put something pretty complex, but truly. I am sad. I don’t know that I can be eloquent right now. I just can’t believe that he isn’t going to go on to get married or any of the other big life stuff he should have been able to do.
I would encourage you to honor my friend’s memory by donating to the Memorial Fund for Scott Spoo and become an organ donor like Scott was because in addition to saving others it also is a way for loved ones to feel like you are still out there helping others. No matter their spiritual/religious beliefs that is one way you can help your loved ones heal, because knowing that is a comfort and it is so incredibly important to the people that need organ donations.
No matter if you believe in Heaven or not, Scott lives in each and everyone that knew him and we all can take comfort in the fact that he is still our friend even if we can’t see him anymore. He is always going to be part of us and his energy is with us.
It is still too hard to really believe. I have plans to get together with other friends of Scott to cry and laugh and attempt to heal, but this is going to take time. In some ways it will never go away. We wouldn’t want it to, but because I have gone through this before I do know that we can and must survive.
We need to get our adventure coffee and go explore the world he loved. That is how we honor him.
We loved Scott for his spontaneity, his love of adventure, his genuineness, his friendship, and that is how we will remember him.
We love you Scott Spoo. You are very missed already.
One of Scott’s friends designed this amazing sticker.
Now in production: Scott Spoo Stickers
2.5″ square black cut vinyl
$2 each, $2.50 if you want it mailed ($1.20 goes to Scott’s memorial fund, 50 cents for the stamp) Pay $3 – $2.20 goes to the fund. You decide.
Edit: you guys have ordered enough to make the price go down, so now $1.60 of the $2 goes to the fund ❤❤ crying with every email, thank you!!
Order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Payment will be through google wallet.