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Today Is My Birthday


Today is my birthday. The date is Wednesday, April 26, 2023. While life itself is surely a cause for celebration, at this particular moment I am compelled to reflect on death. Over the past few years alone, I amassed numerous losses:

My sister died. My other sister died (only about 6 months later). My cousin died. My aunt died. My godmother died. My attorney died. My dentist died. My hair stylist died. My accountant died. My second accountant died. And, the list goes on... Several long-term friends died. Several acquaintances died. Several business associates died. Several celebrities who I worked with died. Even my cat died.

I state again, this is only within the past few years alone (from 2020 to 2023). This list comprises over 25 people who have died (not even directly due to COVID-19), some closer to me than others, but all still a part of my support system. Do the math: this is a front row experience of coincidental death about every 1-2 months for the past 3 years. During this same timespan, I also personally survived COVID-19 twice.

Through it all, my spirit did not die. I am lost of pieces, but I am nevertheless found in peace.

For those who really know of me, I am one who tends to work constantly and extensively — and the majority of my entire life has always been this way. There are multiple reasons why I am conditioned in such a manner. However, the reasoning can be best summed up via the words of the slave ship "Amistad":

" ancestors. I will call into the past, far back to the beginning of time... I will reach back and draw them into me. And they must come, for at this moment, I am the whole reason they have existed at all."

My purpose is to personify the essence of existence, and I have a responsibility to not squander life or take it for granted. Despite detractors and deterrents, here I am.

While continuing to make a name for myself, I echo the names of those who are no longer here to shout their existence from the mountaintops.

To the over 25 people I listed above — and to the many more who go unlisted every day and seemingly forgotten by others, today I celebrate you.

Last Updated: May 3, 2023

About Shefik

Celebrating over 25 years in the entertainment industry, Shefik has held senior-level positions at many Fortune 500 companies and celebrated brands, including IBM, NBCUniversal, and MTV World. He currently serves as a Technical Lead at NBCUniversal. His work has been featured in television broadcasts and video productions for TIME, The Washington Center, "Unsung" (TV One), and Broadway World. He is currently the Executive Producer and Host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Shefik presents Invocation", which is broadcast on over 20 terrestrial radio stations and frequencies throughout the United States, as well as the internationally distributed video series of the same name via Prime Video and other notable outlets.

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