I met Jaamit through our various conversations on SEOmoz, and then eventually through twitter. My first impression of him was what I felt I would have been like when I was that age. And I immediately took a liking to him. He was easy to get on with and a pleasure to speak to. As most people know, when it came to my friends in the industry, Jaamit was amongst those that I counted less friend, and more family. I wish I knew him better. I knew him through SEO and whenever we met up our conversations were all about the industry. I knew a little about where he wanted to go, and what he was doing to try and get there, but outside SEO industry I knew only a little about him.
I did know that he was dedicated, ambitious and a perfectionist. And that despite how well he knew his stuff, he was a nervous wreck when it came to public speaking. He would redo his presentations a million times before he was happy with them, and even then was never quite relaxed. I always teased him about it, and always tried to get him drunk on the night before he was due to speak…
We would play pranks together, and act the fool often when we met up with others for various drinks and events, though he would tell me off for pranking others…(as you can see, my favourite photo of him is in one of those silly moods)
He would come to me for advice and for a listening ear when he was stressed about work, or any major work related decisions, including when he uprooted himself from Brighton to move to London. And I would do what any friend would, listen and offer my opinion. He was smart enough though to take my good advice, and ignore my bad advice. He was brave enough to make decisions that scared him, and ambitious enough to go for his dreams. And he loved SEO and the industry.
The SEO Industry
I think Jaamit would have been both, proud and touched by the love that the industry showed him. I want to thank every one of you who raised a glass to him, sent your love and wishes to both, me and his family.
I have never been prouder to be part of this industry as I have been in last few days. I haven’t seen such support before in my life, from hundreds of offers of support, messages, tweets, emails, texts and phonecalls to the love that 100’s of strangers have shown. For that, thank you.
When my time comes, and if I even manage a fraction of the love that was shown to this boy, then I will feel that I have achieved something in life. It was touching and inspiring to watch the streams of messages and conversations.
I especially want to thank the guys at OMD who have been fantastic.
Like I said, I wish I knew him better, but always thought I would have the time. I felt that he was a brother to me, and I watched with pride as he made decisions that furthered his dreams. I was shocked when I heard the news, and genuinely didn’t know how to react, and on some level still don’t. And I want to thank all those people who offered to help. People have been great at a time when the need existed, and for that I love you.
His passing away made me think, as I am sure it made you too, of the fact that life is so short. There are some changes that I am going to make to my life, while I will improve on other aspects of my existence. Jaamit once told me that he most respected me for offering to hear him out and the advice I was always willing to give him. To thank you all, and to keep that part of my personality that he liked the most, I promise to all in the SEO industry, if there is ANYTHING, I can do, advise on, or help with, my doors will always be open. I lost one brother, but I know that there are hundreds more out there, who have the same dreams, same wishes, and if I can help even one person, in Jaamits name I will.
I spoke to Jaamits wife earlier today, and she wanted to pass on her thanks, as well as those of his parents. They read all the tweets, messages and blog posts that were written about him from the moment that the news broke, and it means much to them to see the love that Jaamit was given. So on behalf of them, thank you.
The funeral and wake has been planned for Saturday the 4th of December in Ealing. For those of you who would like to attend the wake to raise a glass to him, please let me know so we can work out the numbers.
Re: Jaamit Wake: Location: Ealing Town Hall in the Nelson Room Friday 2pm, New Broadway, Ealing, London W5 2BY
For those of you who cannot attend, but would like to send flowers or cards, please send them to his house:
- Ground Floor Flat
- 48 Leyborne Avenue
I cant bear to go through all the tweets again and pul out the lovely things that you guys have said, but if you would like to leave your thoughts and wishes, please do so in the comments below, and I will make sure his family gets them.
Once again, thank you, I love you, and Rest In Peace my friend. You made an impact that has touched thousands, and I wish you could have seen the effect that you have had on people.
Rishi Lakhani is an independent Online Marketing Consultant specialising in SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing and Social Media. Explicitly.Me is his Blog. Google Profile