R.I.P. Andrew Youssef: In Appreciation of a Life Well Lived
|Youssef's final concert shoot with Depeche Mode.|
Like many who have known Youssef for a while, I felt blessed to have been there to watch his story finally get disseminated to the world and to actually see a response, one that will outlive Youssef for years to come.
After the cover story came out, one of the comments that hit me the hardest came from a guy named Steve Macht, the day after the story was published. Macht sent me an e-mail thanking me for doing the piece on Youssef. It wasn't until I got to the bottom of his note that I realized who he was. He explained that he was the younger brother of the boy who had saved Andrew from drowning all those years ago in their family pool.
"I read your piece and I think to myself, 'Good thing my brother saved Andrew, because he had one hell of a life to live, even if it was still too short.' He sure didn't waste the time or the gifts that God gave him," he wrote.
Life as we know it is a fragile gift. It's a notion Youssef had been intimately familiar on so many occasions. And because of that, he lived deliberately, chased his passions unconditionally and touched us all immeasurably. I am a better person for knowing him and as long as I'm around to spread his legend, I plan on doing just that.