Saying Goodbye to a Friend and Mentor
Don Grierson came into my life 5 years ago, and I am not ready to say goodbye. I was an 11 year old kid who liked to sing. Both me and my dad had no idea what I was doing, but he wanted to support my dream so we got in touch with Don. Don is an industry veteran, years of experience. He had seen it all. Yet he still got on the phone and spent his time talking to this 11 year old kid and her dad. Don was the one who got me in the studio for the first time. He sent me two demos to sing. I was so excited, and I totally fell in love with the atmosphere. Over the following years, Don continued to call us for every single question we had. Every little thing, Don knew the answer. He became more than a mentor to me, but an amazing friend. I looked up to him in more ways that I can even say on here.
I was lucky enough to go to LA in April, where I finally got to meet Don in person. The second we told him we were coming, he made plans to go to dinner with us. Don picked us up from our hotel and we went to a place called Bossa Nova. Meeting Don was surreal for me. There was no awkwardness because that’s not who Don is, and we had been talking for 5 years so we didn’t even skip a beat. My dad, Don and I all talked like old friends for hours, until he drove us home. I remember remarking about how kind and funny Don is, how meeting him in person was no different on Skype, and how welcome he made us feel. Don was involved with a community record label called Younk. He was so ambitious and smart, I’m not surprised he was behind this innovative technology. He never slowed down. My dad asked him if he had thought about retiring, and he just smiled. Through Don, and YOUNK, I got to go to LA again which was insane for me, I still remember the Skype call where Don and I talked about it. Once in LA, We made plans to go to his house for dinner this time. He immediately welcomed us into his home, and his family was lovely and he has the cutest dogs. We sat and talked for hours. It was genuinely one of the best nights of my life because I felt so at home.
Don impacted my life in so many ways and I am not going to sit here and pretend that I took his passing well. It was a feeling I have never felt before. When I heard the news, I did not - and still don’t - want to believe that it is real. I still go on skype and look through our call history, wanting to call just one more time. You can’t plan for this type of thing, nobody can.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family. I was so lucky that Don took a chance on me, and that I was able to know and look up to this amazing man. As I was leaving his house, Don told me that next time I needed to stay longer. All of me wants to just sit down and talk just one more time.
Although he is physically gone, Don touched the lives of so many that I know he will live on through everyone he impacted in such a strong way. I hope I can make you proud Don. Thank you and I miss you