Gone Too Soon

I would expect the weekend after one spent with friends at a large event like Super D to be a positive one, still riding the high of the previous weekend’s festivities. There’s something about spending time with people you enjoy and rarely get to see that fills you up, and the positivity tends to linger for a month or to afterwards. However, these feelings were cut short this time around due to receiving some terrible news about the passing of a friend and member of our community – Jake Possemato.

I was downstairs with my kids last Sunday morning when Alicia came downstairs and asked me if I had heard the news about Jake. She was staring at her phone and had seen one of our friends post a message about him. My stomach dropped as I immediately had a good idea of what had happened, and unfortunately my suspicions were confirmed when I learned that Jake had taken his life.

I only met Jake maybe four times or so at various events at US Air- mostly the Final Bout events and maybe one other D Day sprinkled in there. Though we weren’t incredibly close by any means, he always had a hug waiting for me when I saw him at the track. Jake was a bit of a misunderstood soul as he tended to be pretty abrasive online. He was never one to shy away from speaking his mind and this often gave people a negative perception. But in person Jake had a heart of gold and was always friendly to me- always willing to lend a helping hand to anyone that needed it. He really was an awesome guy.

I had reached out to Jake via Instagram just a couple weeks before his passing to ask if I would see him at Super D. He told me that he wouldn’t be in attendance as life had really been dealing him a poor hand lately, but assured me that he would make it out on the other side. I tried to continue the conversation and told him he could always hit me up any time if he needed an ear to talk to, but it didn’t really go on much further. This is why I had suspected the worst when Alicia asked me if I had heard the news.

It really hurts to lose someone this way. There are so many questions and feelings of guilt. Those of us left behind always wonder if there is something more we could have done- something we could have said to make that person change their mind. My father took his life when I was 16 years old, so some of those same feelings came back to me upon hearing this news.

Fortunately with tragedy like this there is always an outpouring of support from this close-knit car community. Everyone managed to raise a good amount of money in a short time to support Jake’s family. Click these links if you are interested in contributing by making a donation or purchasing a sticker.

It always sounds cheesy, but remember that our time on this earth and our time with the people we care about is not guaranteed. If you suspect that someone you know might be having a hard time, reach out to them and see if there is anything you can do. Even asking to hang out or get a bite to eat could make all the difference in a person’s life. It’s important that we all take care of and look out for each other.

Damon

 

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