Losing a Light

Last night we lost Leeba Lessin, an amazing person and a true light in healthcare. Leeba left us after a difficult battle with leukemia. She led Caremore, paving the way for some of the most progressive care models in the country, setting the example for the industry to follow. Leeba modeled innovation, leading with purpose, authenticity, humility and compassion.

Leeba was an advisor to Vida and more importantly she became a friend over the years. There are two people in the last decade that have taught me the most about grace and joy — my mother and Leeba. Both of them died of grueling cancers and both of them decided to stop treatment, be with their families and enjoy what little time they had left. I had experienced the notion of letting go with my mother and was prepared to have an honest dialogue about that with Leeba. She shared such beauty with me, she lifted me up.

Leeba introduced me to the poet David Whyte. We discussed this poem and how she was finding joy in the birds chirping in her backyard, watching the flowers bloom, and every conversation with friends and family. In her fierceness, she exhibited incredible grace and celebrated the joys that were left for her. Her strength is to be admired and a valuable lesson for all of us who knew her. Here is the poem we shared in December. I am forever grateful for her leadership and friendship.


by David Whyte

Human beings cannot quite believe

the depth, drama and even the disappearances

involved in even the average human life.

Each one of us grows

almost against our will

into a steadily unfolding story

where the horizon gets broader and more mysterious,

the understanding of loss and mortality more keen,

the sense of time more fleeting

and the understanding

of our own mistakes and omissions

more apparent.

In the midst of this deepening

we have to make a life that makes sense:

there is no other life

than the one that involves

this constant beckoning,

this invitation

to the fiercer aspects of existence.

Vida Health, Kleiner Perkins, Google, eBay, PayPal, entrepreneur, carpe diem!

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