I’m not very good at grieving. Part of that is being an emotionally stunted Briton, but I am also fortunate in that I have not had all that much practice.
So when Sam Blackman died suddenly and entirely unexpectedly (he was only 41) I struggled to process it.
I didn’t know Sam well enough to call him a friend, but I liked him a lot. I met him when I started my current day job at Elemental, the company he co-founded, and I was immediately impressed by his warmth and generosity of spirit. He engaged with everyone he spoke to, and he led from the front.
Because Sam was a leader, someone who inspired greatness in others by being great himself. He encouraged volunteering; he fostered an inclusive company culture which strives for diversity; and he promoted civic engagement both by the company and its employees.
He also really liked oatmeal.
I’m grateful to have known Sam. He encouraged my writing just by being interested in it, and his whacky idea of a quarterly results meeting themed around one of my books was extraordinary and an extraordinary compliment.
Goodbye, Sam. You did great things, and you will be remembered.