It’s been a rough couple of weeks. In a matter of days (and in some cases, hours), there has been one heartache after another. It’s been bizarre, devastating and completely numbing.
But small beams of light have broken through some sad times.
Beams of light in the form of action. People doing something.
Sending a text message.
Making a donation.
Mailing a card.
Pouring out encouragement and empathy in an email.
Bringing over a bag of chocolate.
Calling to check in.
Attending an event that’s hard and awkward.
Grabbing a hand, giving a hug, stroking a back.
There’s so much power in choosing action – choosing to do something to help someone. And I get it. It can be awkward. Someone else’s pain is a hard thing to willingly step into. It’s easy to choose not to do anything. We can find any excuse to step away instead of stepping in. We feel like it’s not our place or that someone else will do it.
But let me tell you, it’s impossible have too many people checking in on you. It’s impossible to have too many messages that say, “I’m thinking about you”. There’s no such thing as too many of those.
I’ve had a tiny taste of that over the last few weeks. And each action is a tiny beam of light breaking through. A reminder that we are not alone in heartache and challenges, that there are people to fall on when our legs are shaky.
And while I continue to work through some heavy stuff and support others as they work through heavy stuff, can I introduce you to two people that the world lost in the last few weeks?
The first is my Aunt Ena. Ena was fiercely supportive. She loved big and hard. She was an incredible storyteller with a “deliciously dark” sense of humour, as my dad put it. Ena was incredibly smart and passionate. She loved Broadway as much as I do, and would let me ramble on and on about it. She even arranged for a limo to pick me up from my first ever Broadway show. She fostered passions among all her nieces and nephews, because to her, family was the most important thing.
The second is Candace. I met Candace through Camp Oki and got to know her very well during the summer of 2013. In the four years I knew her, Candace went from a shy and timid girl who was most content in someone’s lap, to a confident preteen who knew how to work a room. Other kids gravitated to her, and wanted to be her friend. Camp Oki was designed for kids like Candace – it was an honour to watch her thrive there.
The world’s a little less fun without these two in it.