What the recent death of my brother taught me about life––a lesson in love.

When my mom told me about the crash, I received a phantom punch to the throat. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t inhale. I couldn’t exhale. I grabbed my neck in a reflex of panic for not being able to take a breath.

After a moment I gasped for air. I took the deepest inhale of my life, as if somehow that monumental breath would resurrect the dead. Rain poured from my eyes, and my diaphragm quivered involuntarily. It spasmed, perhaps missing the part of me now gone.

How could it be? How could someone so young, so full of life, and part of my family suddenly be removed from this physical reality. And, why?

In an effort to snap out of my shock and restore calm, I did the only thing I knew I could count on––I got heavy on the earth, and turned inward.

With my backside weighted on the floor, I closed my eyes, and brought awareness to my heart. I visualized a tiny ball of white light glowing at its center, and then imagined it growing bigger and bigger, and brighter within that space. In my mind’s eye, I kept watching and feeling as it expanded. Eventually the ball of light was so big, it covered my entire body, and I requested that my attention remain acutely focused on it for as long as possible.

Once I felt my nervous system balance, putting me at physical ease again, I asked myself one question, “Who is Jeremy to you?”

My thoughts quickly responded with Love! Love! Love! Love! He is Love!

I got up from the floor, grabbed my journal, and started writing LOVE all over the page. Then I wrote Non-Judgement.

My little brother, Jeremy was and IS pure love. He judged no one, including himself, and as a result his contagious joy made everyone feel special. His eyes sparkled. His laughter was never ending. Jeremy was 100% unapologetically his authentic-self. He knew who he was. He was happy in his own skin, and so he could love himself and others equally. He loved without restraint, and was endlessly in service to all…not as a means to serve his ego, and not for personal gain, but because he simply could not help but to uplift those around him.

My brother left behind the greatest legacy one can––that of unconditional love. He reminded me of just how true the words of Maya Angelou are––“And at the end of the day, people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

With February being “the month of love”, let us be re-inspired to live more lovingly.

Speak kindly.
Hug tightly.
Kiss hello and goodbye.
Make time.
Be present.
Reach out.
Say the words.
Honor our bodies.
Create space and time for relaxation.
Let go of shame.
Forgive ourselves and others.
Be patient.
Ask for help.
Lend a helping hand.
Make eye contact.
Be still.
Make others feel special.
If it’s not right, set them free. Set ourselves free.
Live so we have no regrets.

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