I am coming out of summer hibernation like a grizzly bear on the hunt for food. I open my laptop for soul survival We are not born with an instruction manuals, how to's or directions. We are born chasing answers, looking for pieces to the puzzle. All of us are painting, writing, sculpting our own masterpiece but collectively a part of a big mosaic. I was recently chatting with new found friends and artists Markus and Leslie of Antidote about their recent team-building event they did for Swarovski. It was a painting experience for each member of the company, painting a personalized canvas unleashing their inner Bob Ross. Once completed, the Swarovski team hung their pictures to then only see that their picture was a part of a bigger picture. Bringing a realization that although each member has a job, without the other employees the picture would be incomplete; as in life. We all are interwoven into the fabric of each other's lives. Like cotton, we absorb, can be stained, worn and ripped. We move about through the motions of each day many times without notice of how our actions and sometimes non-reaction has a cause and effect. We navigate through life blindly trying to pick up pieces along the way, trying to make sense and find purpose, in order to move forward in "the know." It may sound like sun shiny shiitake mushrooms at the end of a rainbow, but even once purpose is found, there is always a greater purpose unfolding. The picture never truly clear until our last leaf has fallen. We are born to always be growing, learning, unveiling answers. Not just for ourselves but for others.
I am clumsily stumbling for answers for: How to process tragedy and loss, heartbreak, ache and loss?
I clench my heart trying to grasp sense, the message and the purpose, for life's most recent chapter. I know that, like Markus and Leslie's mosaic, the picture may not be clear for some time (hopefully). As a parent, family and friend I have no words to alleviate an ounce of pain over the death of a child. I can only offer arms to hold, ears to listen and tears, so they do not have to cry alone. I silently remind myself of those that have gone before, that wounds heal and that one day grief will turn to beautiful memories dancing in our heart's mind.
Although Joe's story has ended too soon, ours continues on. With each end of a chapter the story will start to come together. There are too many twists and turns in life to even try to understand the why's of such tragedy. Faith will be tested but our spirit is strong! The sadness is a heavy blanket that is suffocating. Salt stings, but heals all wounds -- so let tears fall.
We can choose to let heartache paralyze us from living or we can choose to let our lives be a beautiful reflection of those shining brightly in the distance. People will forever be moving in and out of our story. Love and be loved, dance and drink wine, engage in interesting conversation and be genuine! Let people touch your soul and leave footprints on your heart, for life is fleeting. A beautiful mind once told me to embrace circumstance, chance, and maybe even fate! Relish in the beauty of your heart taking shape. Cry, laugh and scream -- emotion in its truest form.
Joe, Joe will forever be in my heart. His life, his heart, is what began my own personal journey towards a "let it be" kind of life! I will cherish the raw, innocent emotion of him missing singing the celebration of life to his cousin Molly and how the do-over was sung just as passionately as the original. And all of the kids playing, smiling and just existing, in the carefree beauty of childhood. Now I silently sing Happy Birthday to you Joe, as it is your birthday in heaven. As you blow out your candles I imagine your wish being for happy hearts for us left without you.
I know your scarred heart was gifted to us as the masterpiece sculpted by the footprints of angels and that your final mosaic is majestically hung for us all to view someday. Thank you for gracing us in this life. Run free in heaven with your heart pumping strong and please give John Lennon a hug for me from his second-biggest Beatles fan. Rest peacefully Joe, Joe!
Love is the answer, Love is the puzzle piece. Be love... that is all you need!
"Nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be...
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need!" -- The Beatles