Death, dying and grief are something we all experience at some point of our lives.

In the past year, these three words have been a part of my vocabulary even though that was not a part of my plan.

Last July, I said to a close friend that I finally feel completely happy. I finally feel that my family is a unit that works together and we are all in a good place. Four days later, our world got turned upside down when we received the news my younger brother had passed away unexpectedly at the age of 32.

We went through the motions, tried to rise above the pain and celebrate who he was. We were hurting inside but we laughed at his funeral as he had such a joy of life that we did not want to steal from him.

There were so many moments that we cried individually and cried as a family. We talked about why this had happened.

A conversation with my father struck a cord with me. He said to me that he didn’t understand why this had happened and why we lost my brother but we have a purpose here. We are here to educate others to live a better life and help make this world a better place. My brother will help us do that.

At that moment I decided that it was important to really live my purpose. It was important that I continue to impact the lives of other through coaching them to have the life they want and letting go of the stories that weren’t really a part of their life anymore.

I still didn’t do what I decided. I sat there for a few months in my pain and sadness. I stayed in being a victim of circumstance, complaining about how this is not what life is supposed to look like. I had some movement and some attention to what I needed to do next but I was taking baby steps and delaying living my life the way I really wanted it.

Then came the day when I knew that the best way to awaken from this tragedy was to do the workshop I knew I had to do. I chose the weekend after my brother’s birthday as a way to honor him again while making him proud as he had always been of me. I never thought I would be making decisions based on what his thoughts would be and how I would be honoring him. This is something very new for me. 

This decision got me in gear to become visible and do what I love – coaching and bringing people together.

I sit here and reflect on today – on my brother’s birthday – of how I miss him and what he meant to me. He would have been 34 today. He probably would have already started celebrating his birthday as his birthday celebrations were always a few weeks long. I reflect on what I have learned in the past year:
1) Live my life the way I want
2) Be who I am meant to be
3) Do what will impact the people around me in a positive way
4) Have fun
5) Quality relationships come from letting people into my heart
6) Celebrate each moment I am alive
7) If I don’t like something, change it
8) Remember I have more support and resources around me than I know

I wish I had learned these lessons when he was alive. I wish it hadn’t taken a tragedy for me to reclaim my life. I wish I had taken the actions such as hosting this workshop years ago.

He also taught me to not live with regrets. Just accept what happened and move forward.

I write this today in hopes that you will reclaim your life in someway without a tragedy.

I know he is still celebrating his birthday somewhere. I will find the strength to celebrate him too.