A Course Change

When I started this blog just over 10 years ago it was to document what I was experiencing while adopting a Mac. My primary computing platform at that time was Windows and I was both a long time user and developer. My goal with the blog was simple: I was learning a new platform and wanted to share with others what I had discovered. The internet has always been a tremendous resource for me and I felt that I should do my part and contribute to that knowledge base.

That simple goal ended up serving hundreds of thousands of readers over the years. Though I haven't made a single post to this blog in over 4 years, hundreds of people still visit this blog daily based on search results for things like Time Machine errorskeyboard shortcutsupgrading an old Mac hard drive to an SSD and setting up a MacBook for a college student.

I received messages from readers of this blog fairly regularly asking when I would return to blogging, but I always replied with "soon... I hope". My life had become busy and making the time to write about Macs and technology was not a priority while I was busy ushering my children out of college and into adulthood and regularly jumping into a new startup or consulting venture.

I Can't Imagine
All of that changed 2 years ago. On July 20, 2016 two police cars pulled up to my house. The officers asked if I owned a Volvo sedan. Though I did own the car, my 24 year old son Davey was the primary driver of it. He had been out of reach for the previous 6 hours and calls and texts to his phone had gone unanswered. He had left to go to a local park for a trail run but had not returned.

The officers told me the car had been in a solo accident, hit a tree on a winding road and that the driver did not survive. Everything went into slow motion as the officers asked if I had a photo to confirm his identity. I pulled out my iPhone and showed them a still frame from a video I had taken just a couple days before of Davey sitting at his desk in our home office working away.

The officer looked at the photo of my son and acknowledged it was him.

Just like that, my entire world collapsed. The young man that had been a major part of my life was suddenly gone. My son had given me a chance to be a kid again, playing with him as a little boy let me relive my own childhood. I watched him grow up into a stellar athlete, playing sports up through high school. Davey was also a fantastic brother to both of his sisters, constantly amusing them with his goofy sense of humor and never fearing to demonstrate how much he loved them.

He took up surfing very young and most summer mornings would find him at dawn on the beach, searching for that perfect wave before going off to his summer job.

When Davey went off to college I was incredibly proud of him. Though his full name was David Reese Alison IV, he was the first David Reese Alison to receive an undergraduate degree, earning a Bachelor of Science in Economics from James Madison University. After graduation he asked if he could join the startup my oldest daughter Jocelyn and I had been working on, a security awareness training tool that was in the planning stages.

We added him to the team in February of 2016. I could not have been happier, working every day with my oldest daughter and son on a new venture and showing them what startup life was like. We were getting very close to launching an early release version of the product in July when his accident happened. His loss was profound and not only impacted my family but the business we were hoping to build.

Jocelyn and I would try to keep the new product moving, pushing it out just a few months later but the effort was lacking. Both of us found it impossible to focus on the new company while bearing the grief of his loss. We made the joint decision to put our business on the shelf for the foreseeable future.

It was at that point I focused all of my efforts on restructuring my life, learning how to live with the loss of my child and the profound changes that had impacted literally every thought, action and relationship I experienced. Fortunately I had my amazing wife and two loving daughters sharing this journey with me. I was also surrounded by a huge group of loving friends and family that provided incredible support.

As I sit here two years later I am amazed at the changes that have happened in my life, all of them positive and beautiful. My consulting practice flourished and over the last year and a half I have been working on a book that I am about to publish. The goal for the book is simple: to help parents that have suffered the loss of a child see how I have managed to navigate my way past the grief that overwhelmed me and lead a happy and joy filled life. My hope is that it can serve as an example of how to make it through what is arguably the most challenging event a person will face.

This blog was started with the intention of being a resource for people that were looking for answers to questions and that fundamental goal remains. The focus is now shifting, from technology issues to personal transformation. I hope you will join me on this journey, even if it's just to share the information I provide with someone you feel needs it.

If you arrived here searching for answers to technical questions about your Mac those posts will remain as long as I can keep this blog running. My hope is that you will find value in the personal stories I will be sharing, as well as the observations and resources I have found that have helped me so much.

All my best,


romills said…
It's a little after hours(pun intended), but wanted to drop a message and say it's good to see you back to blogging and hear you are now doing well.

My belated condolences to you and your family over your loss. It is encouraging to hear how you are turning this into a positive for others. Life has hardships, some are very difficult, and this would qualify among the most difficult. It is wonderful to see you use this as an example of how to overcome and not just survive, but to turn it into a strength to help others. My best wishes to you and your family with these goals. I pray for your continued strength to do this.. God Bless..
David Alison said…
@romills - thank you so much for your kind words. You have captured my intent for this blog perfectly and your prayers are heartfelt on this end.
Jim Hamm said…
David, I was with you when you started your blog and I -- and all of us -- are still with you these 10 years later and offer our sincere condolences for a tragic loss....Jim
David Alison said…
@Jim Hamm - thank you so much Jim. I know it's been a lot of years between posts and I deeply appreciate you keeping this blog around. My hope is that you'll find some useful tools here, if not for you directly for other friends that are struggling to deal with loss.
David Orriss Jr said…
There are no words that can express how profoundly heartbroken I am for you, David.. I lost both of my parents in the last year.. only 9 months apart from each other. I posted pages to their memories on my website.

If you need to talk.. please feel free to reach out. You'll probably be able to find me easily enough.. you're a smart man.. after all I was able to take my 2012 Mac Pro to SSD because of you.. :D

David Alison said…
@David Orriss Jr - thank you for your kind offer David. My father passed 250 days after my son. 2016-2017 was a year of character building and challenges. We all get challenges in life, it's how we respond that defines the quality of our character and you reaching out like you have shows yours.

Nice to know that those posts about SSD drive upgrades were helpful!
Laurie said…
David-someone posted on FB your most recent post about what to say to parents who have lost a child and it caught my eye. It was so spot on! My son died 2 years ago in March, he was 21. I am a little envious reading how you say you "lead a happy and joy filled life". There are times that I have joy, and laugh and relish being with my two other kids, but I am not sure that I am living a happy life. I am very much interested in reading your book when it is published. Please let me know when it is available.

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