Unexpected Loss & Love

We lost our cousin suddenly on Saturday morning. What followed was a reminder of what love in action can look like. RIP Marcus <3. 

Early Saturday morning Mitch and I drove to the local hospital after receiving an urgent call a half-hour earlier. Our family experienced a significant loss, and we needed to show up for our cousins immediately.

We had planned a birthday party for Mitch for that day. As soon as we heard the news, we immediately cancelled sharing with our friends that a family emergency had come up. Thank you for the beautiful messages you all sent.

In the 14-hours that followed, through presence, I witnessed the most powerful acts of love I've ever seen.

The attending nurse said over and over, 'You have such a special family. Rarely do we see this kind of love, kindness, and community here.'

As we held each other literally and emotionally, we walked through that day, and the days that have followed with a gentleness that I didn't know was possible. Checking in with one another, and holding space for our collective grief.

In times of incredible loss, we have an opportunity to allow love to reign. It's a difficult ask for some. I am grateful to be in a space in my life where showing up, and opening up to love have become the default. I witnessed first-hand what can happen when we do.

We can consciously allow death to bring us together, not drive us towards loneliness. We can choose to see each other as worthy of love, and enable our community to grow and thrive. We can choose to feel our emotions and let them come and go as they may without judgement, instead of suppressing them leading to spirals of shame and pain.

We can choose to speak truth to our realities, our triggers, and our deepest fears and pain. We can lift our spirits by releasing the weight of expectation and self-judgement. We can allow ourselves and each other the privilege to just be. 

I didn't tear up through writing this whole newsletter until now. I was deeply triggered on Saturday. I have experienced significant death in my life so far, and there is nothing that can prepare you for it. Each time is unique. Each loss leaves an impression of its own -- a gap that will likely never be filled, but that will perhaps feel less daunting over time.

This life is incredibly precious. I've learned that all we are truly here to do is to love deeply and meaningfully. 

So, in the words of Mary Oliver... 'Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?' Whatever may come up when you read this question, allow your whole heart to feel it. 

We only have one life. Let's make it beautiful.