Let’s be clear from the outset – I am not about to tell you how to overcome grief. I am not the author of a 10 step program on how to deal with it either. I am not the person to tell you you will be ‘okay‘ or that ‘they are in a better place‘. Nor is this piece about telling you how to feel. Grief is a unique and personal experience – only you will ever know how to cope in the best way for you, regardless of what it looks like to others.
Grief is so personal that often there are no words to convey the feelings.
Much has been made about grief whether it’s spoken about, sung about or merely written about. It is one of those topics that is inescapable in life, yet few people feel comfortable talking about it. In reality it isn’t a topic we wish to dwell on and when faced with someone ‘freshly’ grieving, many people are afraid to say the wrong thing that will cause the other person to cry and upset them. Death, dying and grief make people feel uncomfortable.
I am no stranger to grief as many people aren’t. It is very much apart of the cycle of life and more often than not, we come across others with similar scars and wounds from a passing. These scars are embedded deeply into our soul and will more likely than not, remain for an eternity.
Today I find myself compelled to have my say about a different kind of grief. A stranger grief. The impact felt from the death of someone I knew only through his work, yet felt a connection to and a deep sense of loss for humanity. One that I found myself openly weeping in a public space amongst others who shared a sadness. I’m talking about the tragic loss of actor Paul Walker and crying in a movie theater at the screening of Fast and Furious 7. I have also felt the sadness of the loss of other public figures such as Robin Williams, Heath Ledger, Maya Angeloeou, Nelson Mandela, Patrick Swazy and Tupac as well as many others not so public but still well known within their own profession who contributed to humanity.
I want to turn my thoughts to the ending in the Fast and Furious 7 movie. I will not spoil the ending. Promise. All I will say is that it was a touching and very fitting tribute to the memory of Paul Walker. What I found to be the most touching part of it was the genuine emotion conveyed by his cast members who were also his dear friends, as is evident in the end. It will all sound cryptic because I dislike spoilers big time – and everyone gets something different out of every experience. I cried – not for the death of ‘an actor’, but for the loss of someone who contributed to the world in a positive way through his own organisation Reach Out Worldwide. He was also someone’s son, partner, father and friend. Death impacts in the chain of humanity regardless of who dies.
Life is about so many things – and death is an inevitable part of it. The moment we are born, we are moving towards our inevitable death but it is about the part in between that counts the most – it has to be. I often wonder if those who have passed understand the legacy and / or impact they have left behind? That is also not to say that everyone has left a shining legacy or a positive impact…that isn’t reality…unfortunately not everyone is a nice person…
But lets move onto the time in between these two major time points – birth and death.
We are here now – we are living and have the ability to make a difference now.
Live as you wish –
Leave the legacy of your choosing –
~ But remember, you are part of the chain of humanity ~