On September 10th, 2019, at 8A.M., Oliver's ("Oli") parents found him dead at the bottom of a swimming pool.
The subsequent diagnosis of Oli's death was "sudden adult death syndrome." It was totally unexpected and unexplainable. He was doing a night swim, something he loved, and his family is still trying to come to terms with his loss.
Oli was a snowboard instructor, diving instructor, electronic music producer, and English teacher.
Interestingly, he also shared his thoughts on the website Quora under the pseudonym, Sam Leaper.
Oli told his parents he didn't want them to read his writing until he was ready. After his death, they compiled his short essays into a book, "Sam Leaper's Little Book of Wisdom."
I was given the book by a friend and found it fun, clever, and hopeful. It is written blog post style, with lots of pictures. Easy to read, and I think something many young people, especially teenagers need to read.
Oli (aka "Sam") had lots of great things to say, such as:
- Know that you know nothing and give everything a try.
- Don't be afraid to 'change route.'
- Do stick with stuff.
- Clarify what success looks like and means to you personally
- Strike a balance between work and play; learning and teaching; following and leading; humility and confidence kindness and formidability.
- Compromising current wishes with future wishes.
- and much more...
The story is profound. The words in the introduction in his parent's words are tear-jerking. The art is entertaining. The words wise.
If you want a short and inspiring read, or perhaps some words that would resonate and inspire a young person you love, give Sam Leaper's Little Book Of Wisdom a shot.