We lost our much-loved family member Dave Hannagan very recently. In true ‘Big Wave Dave’ style, his death made prime-time news in Australia and caused an upheaval nothing short of a national disaster – one that sent shock waves far and wide within the local and international community. It’s quite fitting since many also knew him as ‘Hurricane Hannagan’.
And whilst our heartbreak over our loss is still very raw… it’s been incredible to witness the outpouring of love and respect from those who knew and loved him. Hundreds showed up to his funeral to say goodbye, and it was by no means a typical funeral (as Dave wasn’t your typical guy). It was a true celebration of his life – a sea of colour; meaningful songs; touching tributes that evoked a mix of tears, joy and laughter; and the only funeral I’ve ever experienced where applause accompanied every part of the ceremony. Dave always loved a good party.
Following the ceremony, Bondi Beach hosted a mass surf paddle out in Dave’s honour. The blue sky, flat surf and pristine water made for perfect conditions. Hundreds paddled out and formed a circle on the water and paid their respects to him in his spiritual home – the ocean.
The loss of someone we love affects us all in different ways. It can trigger a time of deep reflection and in many ways, a recalibration of life. For me, it’s got me thinking about purpose and legacy and what’s really important in life. It’s so tempting to spend our lives focused on achieving the big stuff – building successful businesses, advancing our careers, getting the great house, making a name for ourselves – doing what we perceive as great things, in the hope of finding purpose and leaving behind a legacy.
What Dave left behind had very little to do with achievements such as what he had or what he did – but rather, his legacy was to show us who he was. Who Dave was being on a daily basis is what touched the hearts and lives of so many. His purpose was to teach and inspire – and these were the words ringing loud and clear during his eulogy. Dave was a master of doing little things every day to help someone – anyone. His kindness knew no limits, nor did it discriminate. He treated everyone equally and fairly. He rubbed shoulders with celebrities one minute and a local homeless person the next. The best part was that he did it without agenda. He did these things because it simply felt good to do them.
Dave was and always will be our greatest brand ambassador. The way he lived and who he was being epitomised the Do Good/Feel Good essence of the Bounce Effect. I’m grateful to Dave for reminding me of what’s important and showing me that my purpose is not a thing to achieve, but is instead revealed in who I’m being on a daily basis; That life is not something to get done, but rather a collection of experiences to relish; And that having an impact on the life of someone else can be achieved though a seemingly simple conversation on a chairlift, words of encouragement in the surf, and an offer help where it’s needed.